You probably know how surprising another culture can be. We increasingly meet people from different parts of our planet. These encounters help us to see the world from a different perspective. How do you handle cultural expressions in our everyday life?

We celebrated the 400 years of trade connections between The Netherlands and Turkey in 2012 with ‘Light through Culture Ankara’: An exhibition that makes you experience culture from first hand. In three interactive lighting installations cultural values can be explored: What similarities do you notice? And what can we learn from each other?

Installation 1: It's a Pleasure

Installation 1: It's a pleasure

How do you approach a group of strangers? Do you seek contact right away, or will you wait to get introduced? The installation ‘It’s a Pleasure’ makes you think about your way of approaching a group.

When you enter the installation a drop of colourful ink is let go into a petri-dish. This drop represents you between all the previous visitors of the installation. Look what happens: does your drop mingle easily with others, or does it find an individual spot? And how does this relate to your approach?

The visualization of the group is based upon the traditional Turkish art technique Ebru, also known as paper marbling.

Installation 1: It's a Pleasure

Installation 2: Straight Forward

How do you convey an important message? There are infinite ways to do this, and every culture has its own preferences. Are you straightforward or do you choose a longer path to tell your story? In the installation ‘Straightforward’ you can experience the consequences of the path you take.

The path of the water symbolizes the way of conveying a message. Change this flow of water by shifting the words and discover the path of the message! Empathize with the other person, how is your message being received?

Inspiration was found in the communication differences within the multicultural team, while creating this installation.

Installation 2: Straight Forward

Installation 3: Hand in Hand

When do you feel at home in a group? We all know the feeling of being reinforced by the people surrounding us. But how does this feeling grow? And how is this influenced by culture? These are the questions that are answered with the installation ‘Hand in Hand’.

You can come in and use the knobs on the carpet to create patterns in the installation. We dare you to unravel the secret of these patterns! Do the shapes and colours tell you anything about the group dynamics? And how does the pattern change if you start cooperating?

The inspiration for this installation was found in the tight family bonding in Turkish culture.

Installation 3: Hand in Hand


Background The three installations are the result of a 10-day ‘Light through Culture’ workshop. During this workshop 12 TU/e Industrial Design students from Eindhoven, 3 LUCA students from Brussels, and 6 Turkish students collaborated at METU University in Ankara. The ‘Light through Culture’ format was developed by OPENLIGHT, creative lab of the Intelligent Lighting Institute, in order to explore how new lighting technologies could possibly help to address societal challenges.

The Ankara edition was jointly organized by TU/e, LUCA Brussels, Belgium and METU University of Ankara. The project is supported by the European Commission for Education and Training as an Erasmus IP project. Capital D and Eindhoven Studentenstad helped in making this Dutch Design Week exposition possible.

The exhibition has been presented three times in total: At the METU Art festival in Ankara; at the Dutch Technology Week in the main building of the TU/e; and during the Dutch Design Week at the VideoLab of Strijp-S.