Aegean furniture to increase value with design

In 2018, the Aegean furniture exporters increased their volume by 23 percent and brought foreign exchange worth 146 million dollars into Turkey and their goal is to generate the superordinate identity for the Aegean furniture through contemporary and ergonomic designs and to increase the added value achieved with exportation of furniture.

The Aegean Furniture Paper and Forestry Products Exporters’ Association starts cooperating with Yaşar University for a design project in the furniture sector. Mr. Cahit Doğan Yağcı, the Chairman of the Aegean Furniture, Paper and Forest Products Exporters’ Association, and the Furniture Work Committee of the Aegean Furniture Paper and Forestry Products Exporters’ Association had a meeting with Dr. Tolga Benli, the Director of Yaşar University Design, Application and Research Center (YÜTAM) and Faculty Member of the Industrial Design Department, as well as the Department of Business Administration’s Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Erhan Ada and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ömer Öztürkoğlu, the Head of International Logistics Management Department Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yiğit Kazançoğlu, Mr. Necip Özbey, the Director of Yaşar University Technology Transfer Office, and Mr. Necip Atılgan, the University Sector Cooperation Specialist.

The members of the Aegean Furniture, Paper and Forestry Products Exporters’ Association held a meeting at the Aegean Exporters’ Association and discussed launching an URGE (International Competitiveness Development Incentive) Project and methods of manufacturing furniture with higher added value.

Mr. Cahit Doğan Yağcı, the Chairman of the Aegean Furniture, Paper and Forestry Products Exporters’ Association, noted that their hope to organize a team of ambitious firms which believe that they can personally benefit from the URGE Project in the furniture sector and they intend to carry on a design oriented work with YÜTAM’s Director Dr. Tolga Benli. Mr. Yağcı reminded that the Ministry of Economy finances the “International Competitiveness Development Incentive, aka UR-GE, Project for improving international competitiveness and exportation of the companies located in Turkey, and he underlined that they value this project and cooperation very much.

“Design is a key element in exportation” said the Chairman Mr. Yağcı and added: “Turkey’s 2023 exportation goal in the furniture sector is 6 billion dollars. For achieving this goal, we must create ergonomic Good Designs that might be preferred by the customers and bring new markets to our furniture sector. We have ongoing projects for organizing a Furniture Organized Industry Zone where the Aegean furniture manufacturers can easily receive their customers as well as intermediate personnel training projects to meet the qualified personnel demand of the sector, and we will also focus on design oriented works.”

Design is the key in furniture

Dr. Tolga Benli, the Faculty Member of Yaşar University Industrial Design Department and Director of YÜTAM, noted that design and R&D are now integrated into the vision of the Ministry of Commerce and underlined that Turkey offers significant support in the field of design; furniture selected for the right space in the right shapes and colors adds a meaning to life and furniture, as a spatial accessory, is a significant aspect of our lives.

“The countries are powerful with their brands and competitive with their designs” said Dr. Benli and added: “We must make a difference in the current export markets. We can do this with design. Design is the key element of offering world class products. In the 2000s, diversity and customized designs came into the play for being competitive. When we say ‘Good Design’, we do not only refer to the beauty of appearance but refer to the functional, reliable, quality and ergonomic products that are manufactured easily, preferred by the customers and that earn money when sold. We must offer quality products like Spain, Italy and Germany but we must also offer products that are different from those so that we can be preferred. This is why we value University – Sector cooperation. This initiative will launch the cooperation that will create the superordinate identity of the Aegean furniture”.

The Aegean Furniture, Paper and Forestry Products Exporters’ Association and Yaşar University decided to develop joint projects so that the furniture manufacturers in the Aegean Region can manufacture products with higher added value.