Design Studies (With Thesis)

General Information about the Department of Design Studies (MDes Degree with Thesis)

The Design Studies Master’s Program offers a common ground for various design disciplines and embraces interdisciplinary as an academic framework. Such interaction between disciplines will allow students to discover more creative solutions.

Introduced as the first graduate program of its kind in Turkey, the Design Studies Master’s program that was founded under Izmir University of Economics Faculty of Fine Arts and Design provides architects, interior architects, visual communication designers, graphic designers, industrial designers, fashion designers and applicants from related disciplines a unique research opportunity. With studies informed by this broad approach, ultimately, students will prepare a comprehensive thesis in their chosen field. Students aiming to apply their skills in their respective industries are provided with opportunities to deal with projects in a theoretical framework and write their thesis in this context. Consequently, it is possible for graduates to pursue careers in both design-related professions and academia.

The Master’s Program in Design Studies is structured with the goal that the theoretical and practical aspects of successful graduate education can be effectively joined in a way that will be constructive for graduates of various disciplines. Emphasizing relations between various subjects and approaches provides the students with a broader professional training. Each will graduate from the program equipped with substantial and creative skills, unique experiences, and specialized knowledge.

Design Studies Master’s Program students conduct their research in a multi-disciplinary/cross-disciplinary way on the fields of studies and key research topics listed below:


 Prof. Murat BENGİSU

Materials and design


Technology forecasting

Design history

Design terminology

Material culture



Fashion design

Clothing technology

CAD Systems and fashion design

Smart textiles

 Prof. Deniz HASIRCI

Environment-behavior studies: Learning environments; biophilic design; behavior settings; interior design; participatory design; codesign

Design history: History of Turkish modern furniture; history of Turkish interiors; modern interior design; oral history


Textile arts

Museum studies

Textile design

Traditional textile studies

Textile fibers

 Assoc. Prof. Zeynep ARDA

Interaction Design; interface design; human-computer interaction; voice-controlled interaction; smart mobile assistants

Intercultural communication; art, artists and migration; cultural diversity

Branding & Identity; city branding; destination marketing; filming locations

Virtual worlds; virtual reality; physical space to cyberspace; liminal Spaces; metaverse

Image & Identity; social media & self presentation; reputation management 

Online education; design education; nonverbal communication in remote education

 Assoc. Prof. Deniz DENİZ


Ecological design

Urban design

 Assoc. Prof. Şölen KİPÖZ

Fashion theory and design

Conceptual fashion design

Ethical, sustainable and circular fashion

 Assoc. Prof. Onur MENGİ

Creative Industries

Urban design

Design Management

Prof. Aslı Ceylan ÖNER

Globalization and urban space

Global city networks

Art and design districts

Comparative urbanization

 Assoc. Prof. Arzu VURUŞKAN

Fashion technology

Apparel product development

3D digital fashion


 Asst. Prof. Ali ASLANKAN

Housing studies

Housing design and Urbanism

Design education

 Asst. Prof. Lale BAŞARIR

Artificial intelligence in architecture


Post occupancy evaluation

Design optimization

Natural algorithms

Design in massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) environments

 Asst. Prof. Esra BİCİ NASIR

Furniture design

Domestic culture

Design history

Design anthropology

User-centered design

 Asst. Prof. Tuba DOĞU

Production of urban space

Social architecture

Critical spatial practices

 Asst. Prof. Emre ERGÜL

Traditional housing

Yacht design

 Asst. Prof. F. Dilek HİMAM

Fashion theory

Contemporary fashion and dress history

Material culture studies

Museology studies

Textile history

Body and gender studies

 Asst. Prof. İlker KAHRAMAN

Sustainable built environment, sustainable neighborhood approach

Assessing embodied energy and embodied carbon of buildings and building materials

Circular economy principles for building sector

Natural ventilation 

Energy efficient buildings

Integrated building design approach (IBDA)

 Assoc. Prof. Didem KAN KILIÇ

Non-visual aspects of spatial knowledge: Auditory architecture; olfactory architecture; tactile architecture; the hegemony of sight

Wayfinding in urban environments and interiors

Corporate social responsibility design projects

 Asst. Prof. İpek KAŞTAŞ UZUN

Gender studies

Urban studies

History of nation gardens

Landscape design of residential areas

Waterfront design

 Asst. Prof. Rabia Özgül KILINÇARSLAN

Contemporary art

Fine arts in Turkey

Curatorial studies

Exhibition design

Visual storytelling

Bioart and biodesign

 Assoc. Prof. Gökhan MURA

Migration and design: Immigrant objects; material and visual culture of migration; transnational objects; design in post-migration societies; public space design and visual culture relationship

Technology and design relationship: Artificial intelligence and design (artificial intelligence applications especially in the fields of creativity and health and well-being); wearable technologies

Interaction design: Physical interaction; design of interactive products, systems and services; empathetic design; creative design methods

History and theory of design and visual culture

 Asst. Prof. Duygu Ebru ÖNGEN CORSİNİ

Costume design

Stage design

Puppet design

Textile and fashion design

 Asst. Prof. Can ÖZCAN

Product-service-system design

Design project management

Design history

Design semiotics

Marine Vehicles and Equipment History and Design

 Asst. Prof. Athanasios STASINOPOULOS

Green architecture

Sustainable environmental design

Vernacular architecture and environment

Biophilia and architecture

 Asst. Prof. Markus WILSING

Design educational models for the upcoming generations

How the virtual environment effects the design outcome, process and its profession

Development of habitats for the upcoming generations

A possible roadmap of design developments for the next generations

Possible future relationships and integrations of design, society and political structures

 Asst. Prof. Deniz AVCI-HOSANLI

Architectural history

Conservation of cultural heritage

Housing production

Housing conservation

Healthcare architecture

Modern Movement interiors in Turkey

Cinema and architecture

History of Ottoman and Turkish Architecture
Urban Systems
Health and Educational Infrastructures
Industrial Heritages
Asst. Prof. Daniele SAVASTA Interaction Design
Information Design
Data Visualization
Asst. Prof. Gözde Damla TURHAN-HASKARA Biobased Materials and Composites
Computational Design
Digital Fabrication
Artificial Intelligence & Machine learning

Students have the chance to spend a part of their education abroad within the scope of ERASMUS. The detailed and up-to-date information about the exchange agreements at the graduate level in different fields of design could be provided from the Office of International Affairs.

Prof. Dr. Deniz Hasırcı
Head of the Department of Design Studies

Asst. Prof. Tuba Doğu
Coordinator of the Department of Design Studies

Asst. Prof. Deniz Avcı-Hosanlı
Coordinator of the Department of Design Studies

Asst. Prof. Gözde Damla Turhan-Haskara
Coordinator of the Department of Design Studies

Res. Asst. Ali Rıza Bayrak
Assistant of the Department of Design Studies


Aytül Tüzemen Apaydın, Secretary of Graduate School
Ceren Sucularlı, Graduate School Associate