We talked with Selin Özçelik Mörth and Nagehan Kural Alan, the founders of Design In Situ, who produce projects where design and technology meet in the field of interactive experience design.
Can we get to know you and your startup?
Design In Situ is a design office that has been producing design-oriented creative projects using new technologies for about 10 years.
The founding story of Design In Situ dates back to university years. After both our undergraduate education at Sabancı University Visual Communication Design program, we did our Master’s in Digital Media in Germany and worked there professionally.
With the interdisciplinary culture we acquired, we touched many areas of design. We focused on creative technologies that combine brand and user experience, including persuasive technologies, public space and user interaction, and biosensory interaction. This process has provided us with very good knowledge in the fields of graphic design, animation, interactive technologies and design-oriented thinking.
Of course, we also gained knowledge in getting to know the commercial culture abroad, learning and applying cross-cultural design. The projects we managed there and our one-to-one contact with large-scale customers such as Mercedes Benz and the Chamber of Commerce carried us forward. Then we returned to Istanbul to produce these new and extraordinary projects in the field of creative technologies and interaction design in our own country and culture, and this is how we established Design In Situ. With our team, which we manage as 2 female entrepreneurs and designer partners, we serve many local and international brands in ‘in situ’, that is, site, brand, target-specific experience design and visual design.
What solutions do you have? Who are among your customers?
Design In Situ is a boutique, fast and creative team. We produce graphic design, interactive software, photography and video design projects. We work in the fields of creative technologies and visual design. Our clients we have worked with so far; Brands and institutions such as Nike, Samsung, Sabancı University, Vitra, Unilever, Rahmi Koç Museum, Ziraat Bankası, GSD Holding. Apart from Nike Turkey office, we also work with Milan, Barcelona and Amsterdam offices. We do the concept development, visual design and software of the game designs created for the events from A to Z, and we also undertake the operational management abroad.
Our solutions often involve designing experiences that involve people and places. For example, we designed an interactive theater stage in a metro station for the Frankfurt theater in Germany. Hundreds of people passing through the subway station unexpectedly found themselves in an interactive theater stage with the spotlights turning on them by pressing the label names of the characters from the current plays on the ground.
In the area we built for Nike in the Barcelona marathon last year, the participants experienced the world marathon record speed of 21 km per hour on treadmills with a game.
In a 600m2 exhibition area designed for Ziraat Bank, we designed the visitors to experience the works of art in a different digital atmosphere. At the same time, we have developed an interactive software and design project with touch screens so that more than 2000 works of art can be examined digitally. The digital children’s workshops, which were also established in the same area, brought the children together with the works of Turkish painters, this time in a game-oriented environment.
In the project we designed for Aygaz at the Rahmi Koç Museum in Ankara, children will experience the world of Aygaz in a game and cartoon setup with Augmented Reality.
All these projects were design projects that strengthened the perceptions of the brands by the user and prioritized the brand experience. Of course, it is necessary to experience beyond the narration. You can access the videos of all these projects at www.design-insitu.com.
You won the Red Dot Design Award this year with the interface design you designed for GSD Holding. How was this award and the project process?
With the website we designed for GSD Holding and its companies, we received the “Red Dot Winner 2020” award in the Brands & Communication Design segment at the Red Dot Design Award.
Around 7,000 designs from 50 countries were evaluated by an international jury. We will represent Turkey in this catalog, which will be published in November and will feature outstanding examples in the international arena.
We tried to combine GSD Holding’s brand approach with a visionary perspective. We gathered the sub-organizations of the institution such as Banking, Factoring, Maritime and Education Foundation under a simple but extraordinary design roof. We took an approach that modernized a well-established corporate brand with an unusual design approach. The site has a structure that supports visibility and information sharing in the digital world. The website design, in which aesthetics is at the forefront as well as functionality, was supported by the photographs of photographer Murat Durusoy.
What were your goals in the early days of your establishment, and which ones have you been able to achieve today?
Our goal has always been to make a difference. For this reason, we aimed to create designs in which we can integrate up-to-date technologies at home and abroad and at the same time develop original and creative projects. Most of the projects we undertake today serve this purpose. Of course, in a commercial sense, it is possible to make a difference with the brand, the brand vision is very important. Therefore, choosing a project is the right stance.
In addition, producing not only commercial but also art projects is one of our passions. In the field of interactive media arts at home and abroad; Today’s Art Festival in the Netherlands, Het Nieuwe Institute; We produced art projects in institutions such as the Museums Quartier in Austria and took part in various organizations. In the same way, we try to support social projects from time to time in terms of design.
On the other hand, we also enjoy sharing our academic knowledge in the field we work in. We gave lectures on visual communication design and interaction design at Istanbul Yeditepe University and Paris Université Gustave Eiffel, and we give workshops at different events. This year, our consultancy will continue online at Paris Université Gustave Eiffel. This type of work we do with young talents inspires us.