Industrial and interior designer Mine Ovacık, who founded MINOVA DESIGN in London where she moved from Turkey to in 2019, has focused on the field of “craft and design”. Ovacık who launches her hand-crafted designs by felt-making techniques to online markets, and consults interior design projects, has been getting ready to coach professionals and people as a Design and Creative Coach.
Mine Ovacık, the founder of MINOVA DESIGN, describes herself as a “Research-based industrial and interior designer, and a practice-based academician”. She has been creating environmentally and socially responsible objects, commercial products, interior spaces, participatory co-design projects, and publishing academic articles, rooted in user-centred design for 25 years. She was born in 1971 in Istanbul.
Ovacık got her Bachelor Degree in Interior Design from Istanbul Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in 1992, completed her master’s degree in 1996 in the US at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in Industrial Design in 2002 at Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul. In 2004, she became an assistant professor, and an associate professor in 2017.
Since 1997, Ovacık has worked as an academic in various universities of Turkey in Istanbul, Mersin and İzmir, has given post-graduate courses in the field of Post-Industrial Design on the subject of “Responsible Design”, and her design works have been displayed in many national and international exhibitions. Along with her academic works, Ovacık has worked nationally and internationally on designing interior spaces, furniture, fair and purchase of point stands, various products and vehicles. Since 2012 Ovacık has been working as the Head of Industrial Design at the Faculty of Arts and Design of Yaşar University.
Her curiosity changed her life
Mine Ovacık who created many designs in various fields over the years in Turkey, moved to London together with her 14-year-old son, in 2019. Following her curiosity, she was inspired by her question: “If I was a designer, living in England, where my profession was born along with the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, I wonder what I could do?” Ovacık explains how the idea of moving to London came about:
“My experiences as an industrial designer working in Turkey often reminded me of the saying ‘Selling snails in a Muslim neighbourhood’. In Turkey, even though industrial design education was introduced in 1971 the field only started blossoming towards the end of the 90s. As a member of a profession imported from the west, I wondered what it would be like to be a designer living on this big island where industrialisation began and ended. What would it be like to live here in the first quarter of the 21st century, a time of great change, when the ‘data world’ is being created, ‘artificial intelligence’ is being developed and the economy is turning into ‘virtual money’? What can I create and experience? How can I accompany the big changes in the system? These questions had been dancing around in my mind and gave me momentum to move forward.”
“Craft and design” are at the heart of MINOVA
Ovacık summarises the life that she has been facing in England; “In the heart of capitalism, in London, now I have been experiencing the online professional life, a life with a virtual spirit, created by the new age ‘Religion of Data’ that Yuval Noah Harari mentions in his book ‘Homo Deus’. While searching for an answer to the question ‘What can I do as a designer who takes advantage of the gifts of the digital world that we are all connected to, and are inescapable pawns of?’, meanwhile I’m developing products and giving services based on design and creativity.”
Ovacık, who created the brand MINOVA DESIGN in London, has focused on a down-–to earth combination of “craft and design” under this brand. Ovacık produces her designs with felt making techniques in her home-workshop, markets them through online shops, and at the same time she offers her consultancy services for interior design projects.
Under the brand of MINOVA, Ovacık aims to create and commercialise innovative products and services, based on design and maker culture, with high artistic and creative values. Ovacık’s further target is, once accomplished in England, she intends to sell her products and services worldwide.
My aim is to awaken the natural creativity that lies within us
In London, Ovacık has completed her training on “Personal Performance Coaching” in 2021, and been preparing herself to coach her clients in Design and Creativity. Ovacık explains: “I have been building a program for my coaching service generated from my newly obtained ability of ‘coaching’, by blending it with my 25-year-experience of designing, being academic, and teaching of innovation with creative thinking techniques.”
“This service that I have named Design Coaching and Creative Coaching is intended for those who do not have a background in subjects that require creativity such as arts and design. My aim is to wake up and activate the creativity that lies within us all, to help transform ourselves and glide through the great changes that appeared with the pandemic. What I enjoy the most about coaching is that you accompany people on their journey to solving their own problems. During the 80 or so sessions I have done so far it is a joy to be a witness to the miraculous changes that occur, to see a person unfold, transform and relax. So far, my clients have been people who have been especially struggling to do something creative with their career. With my Design Coaching service, I also aim to coach people and groups who work in creative industries, such as designers and artists, to help them innovate when they feel their creativity is at a standstill.”
“Human Economy” model for small businesses
For 25 years Ovacık has been designing and offering her services to various industries and has important recommendations for small businesses.
Ovacık explains the concept of “Human Economy” that she teaches in her lectures. “This concept is based on transforming a person’s valuable knowledge, story, unique differences, ethnic characteristics, experiences and talents into an economy. It has the potential to pave the way especially for young designers. In England I witness this concept often being implemented. I see that people here commercially support micro or small-scale businesses. Design and Craft are very suitable subjects for this concept.”
Ovacık explains that the tools and opportunities for “Human Economy” are endless and says “I am also learning about and implementing these opportunities. What I mean by the gifts of the internet and the virtual world is that one has the possibility to transform knowledge and talents into an entrepreneurial project.”
Translated by Esin Işın