Capacity Development Platform for Disenfranchised Craft Producers

Joon is a social enterprise that I co-founded in 2016. It is an inclusive service designed to offer disenfranchised communities a way to claim their livelihood by building networks for contemporary craft production.

time: 2016 - 2019

role: co-founder, strategic planning and design lead

Leveraging human capacity to claim a new life.

Problem Definition

Communities who face systemic exclusion do not have access to resources to build up an independent livelihood.

However, as positive deviance, many people can turn their craft skills into income when they are offered the right channels.

"The rate of employment among the
Syrian women in Turkey is as low as
20% due to child care duties and
language barriers."

(SGDD UN Women Report, 2018)


Concept Development

Joon brings disadvantaged craft producers around production networks, providing them with design & sales services.

Following a micro-investment model, it revives the existing workshops of the public sector and supports fair trade through B2B and B2C channels.

The early-stage MVP was prepared in 4 months with a seed investment  covering the process from production to sales.


Over the course of 3 years, we developed 4 collections with different producer groups, including women, refugees and families of disabled children.








Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom was created with Syrian calligrapher M. Tawfiq, who could not continue his craft as a refugee in Turkey.

In this collection, inspirational words written by the calligrapher were carried on new textures using rapid prototyping.


The calligraphies collected from M. Tawfiq were embedded in side-lamp designs through multiple prototypes.

The production process was carried out within the capacity of local wood workshops and budgetary limitations.

Colors of Anatolia

Colors of Anatolia’ collection is born from
the collaboration of marble painting
artist G. Çuhadar and Zeytindali
Women’s Cooperative.


Sound Up

Following the civil war in Syria from 2012, over 3.5 Syrians moved to Turkey as refugees. Isolated in camps and suburbs, they are constantly subject to discrimination and seen through a political lens.

SoundUp was created as an empathetic bridge between locals and Syrians, using art, design and technology. I took part in the concept and service development.

SoundUP is a collection created incollaboration with the tech startupZuluTech, using WeMotion softwarewhich visualizes sound waves.

Each product comes with a QR code, linking the sound pattern on the product to the original voice record of refugees from different ages.

The audio experience helps create a connection with a refugee as an individual while helping improve the livelihoods of refugees as the producers of the collection.

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The Mic is Yours

in progress

'The Mic is Yours' was created in partnership with the Foundation for Children with Cerebral Palsy, a nonprofit in Turkey that focuses on improving education and accessibility for children with cerebral palsy.

The mothers of the kids often have to spend their entire day at school with their children to take care of them. The collaboration was aimed at developing a craft-based production opportunity for the mothers, increasing the visibility of cerebral palsy.


Field Observation

The field observation was carried out at the special education high school for disabled children, aiming to understand the dynamics of their relations within and their values.

The field observation revealed the initiative of communication, perceived boundaries, capabilities and self-expression as major components of the school, which was a safe environment for children.


Cultural Probes

A set of cultural probes was created, aiming to understand the routines, values, challenges, and self-perception of mothers. These findings served as the main directions to tell their story through the products to be designed.

The set of probes included a dairy, a visual-aided self-reflection sheet and a postcard from another mother to be replied.


Workshop with Mothers

A discovery workshop was carried out with mothers to collectively explore their aspirations for their children and the challenges that they encountered. 

The major discoveries included the value of being loved, misperception by society, independence of children with cerebral palsy.


Workshop with Teens

A playful self-expression workshop was carried out with children with cerebral palsy to discover their areas of interest, values and self-perception.

Cerebral palsy presents itself physically and/or mentally in various ways and at various levels. Therefore the major challenge of the workshop was creating inclusive activities for different levels of disability. All children were invited in a news publishing simulation, interviewing one another as journalists and creating stories.





: Metal  


: Wood