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The Koç University Design Lab, part of the Koç University – Arçelik Research Center for Creative Industries, was founded under the Department of Media and Visual Arts at Koç University, with the aim of developing future media, products and spaces.
The first interactive media application in Turkey was designed in 1992, with support from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). TÜBİTAK project number INTAG 301 was a media specification tool that enabled the analysis of the historical development of the Topkapı Palace. The application was realized using Apple HyperCard. The tool has been partially reconstructed and the reconstruction is available online.
In 1993, the media specification tool project was expanded with support from the State Planning Organization and was continued at Mimar Sinan University, where the Mediaccess Lab was founded to conduct design research and develop novel online interactive media. The Mediaccess Lab carried the İstanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture online. Designers Artun Çinetçi, Ercüment Görgül, İhsan Cem Onur and Koray Tahiroğlu are alumni of the Mediaccess Lab, which ceased its activity in 1997. Copies of its products were sent to the National Library of Turkey to be archived.
In 1997, building on the experience of Mediaccess, Yıldız Technical University‘s Department of Interactive Media Design was founded. Although a laboratory was not present, research was conducted here on the effects of Turkish culture on interactive media design and results were published internationally. This was the first postgraduate education program in Turkey to focus on interaction design.
In 2011, the Koç University Design Lab was founded to continue the 20-year tradition of design research in Turkey. Currently the Design Lab operates in its space in the Koç University campus, aiming to develop novel concepts in interaction design.
As of 2015, Design Lab operates as part of the Koç University – Arçelik Research Center for Creative Industries.