Searching for vernacular concepts in the contemporary scene: The turkish floor table as a source of design inspiration

Nasir E. B.

International Journal of Food Design, vol.1, no.2, pp.135-158, 2016 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1386/ijfd.1.2.135_1
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Food Design
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.135-158
  • Keywords: Dining table, Domestic space, Eating, Floor table, Furniture, Mobility, Multifunctionality, Vernacular
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Following reforms resulting from westernization, domestic culture in Turkey and related styles of using household items changed considerably. In the context of transformations regarding the withdrawal of vernacular items and practices, adapted, globally sourced forms of furniture became common in Turkish middle-class homes. This article focuses on the furniture and items related to eating, in which the modern dining table, connoting an established residence, is depicted as very different from the floor table which was representative of nomadic culture. Thus, the vernacular floor table and the contemporary dining table and other eating units are analysed in terms of their dichotomies – mobility/stability, lightness/heaviness, visibility/invisibility and emptiness/fullness – to ascertain ways to encourage the possibility of wider adoption of vernacular design qualities. Text and visual analyses were conducted on recent interior architecture and decoration magazines to seek out relationships to the vernacular design qualities to assess their adaptability to the contemporary environment. Research results illustrate that mobility, lightness, invisibility and emptiness are highly desired concepts but with novel diffractions and interpreta­tions, still making the floor table a rich source of design inspiration.