A pen that ‘looks like a CEO in a business suit’: gendering the fountain pen

New article about the gendering of the fountain pen is published, co-authored by Harun Kaygan, Pınar Kaygan and Özümcan Demir.

This article investigates the gendering of the fountain pen as a product category mainly used in the office environment. It draws on hobbyists’ accounts and evaluations of fountain pen use from online forums. The accounts suggest that hobbyists perceive the fountain pen market to take executive men as its authentic user group, whereas pens that target women often reflect stereotypical femininities. At the office, this gendering process impacts users’ everyday experiences especially with reference to the managerial norms that govern the use of suits and accessories, since the fountain pen is considered by its users as part of an array of men’s status objects. The article contributes to the literature on the gendering of artifacts by describing a hegemonic manner in which artifacts are gendered, that is, as a range of products that target diverse masculinities and femininities in contradistinction to a single, masculine product type.

Find the article here.

Final projects for ID 708 2014-15: Mapping Technology

In the Spring semester of 2014-15, we ran ID708 Critique of Design II as a team of four: Harun Kaygan, Pınar Kaygan, Osman Şişman, and Şenöm Yalçın. We had an inspiring selection of readings, and a series of four assignments which then formed the basis of individual final projects — a heterogeneous set, from performances to videos. Many thanks to all our students for their hard work.

Below you can view some of the final projects:

1. Open Cake by Özümcan Demir (performance)

The Open Cake performance tries to create an event where every individual would listen to an audio recipe and contributes to the creation of The Open Cake Book by writing their own recipe. In order to do that, participants should combine what they hear with their personal sensorial history, memories, experiences, and intuitive knowledge.

Open Cake Session

Soundclip is here. Sample recipe pages from the workshop below.

Open Cake Recipe 2-1Open Cake Recipe 6-1Open Cake Recipe 17-1


2. Superencypher Rhizome Machine by Selin Gürdere (poster presentation)

Machine produces the flow of desire codes and these codes constantly are remanufactured in different forms by infusing themselves into everything. … This is the production of production. … It composes constatnly new events, new desires and thoughts. So this cycle goes to infinity.

superencypher rhizome machine


3. What Holds Things Together by Duygu Bostancı & METU Contemporary Dance Group (performance)

Refrain. Refrain Machine. Movement. Human. Move-ment. Move-mental. Mental move. Mental? Physical? Body. Body-move. Dance. Choreography? Dance-writing. Could dance be written? Improvisation. Inter-action. Inside-action. Within the body. Butoh? Affection-body-movement. Body-movement-affection. Movement-body-affection. Movement-affection-body-ground. Ground-theoretical ground. What is theoretical ground of this performance? Deleuze-Guattari-Guattari-Deleuze-Deleuze-Guattari-Laura Cull-Portanova Spinoza? One less manifesto-deleuze philosophy of performance. –Escape representation–(Cull, 2009: 5 )

DuyguB_WHTT 2
DuyguB_WHTT 1

Images from the performance


4. The Lady Slipper and The Bee by Pelin Aydıner (fiction)
Short piece of fiction and video work, depicting the lady slipper orchid and the bee as a Deleuzean masochist couple. Here is a taste:

On a hot summer day, flying above the trees, floating in the air, feeling the breeze- I saw it. My body felt weightless, my legs trembled. Diving from the top of the tree, I let myself into the arms of the bulb of colour.

Come here- come to the whore of Babylon- Haven’t seen your kind for months! Spread my smell, bring those feet to me, bring those wings.

Blood rushing through my body, my eyes bright, my body letting itself go down- I want it, I told myself. I want it now! Let me feel it, let me smell it, eat it, suck it.

The scent got stronger as I was getting closer. I wanted to be filled with it, I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to -be- it.


I remember the bright pink colour. I have felt a lot of colours, but this one struck me more than anything. I almost lost my sensation, the control of my body when I saw it. The colours got more vibrant, stronger and stronger. I could see the bright lights peaking out of the petals, the bulb was screaming my name.

Check your back- is there anyone behind?

Come to my body. Water it with the extracts of other flowers. Swim in my dust, spread it with your wings. Let your desire scream. Let my desire control yours, I will let you control mine.