Biography – Pınar Çevikayak Yelmi

Pınar Çevikayak Yelmi was born in Istanbul in 1985. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the department of Industrial Design at Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Türkiye, 2008) and her Master’s degree from the department of Visual Communication Design at Politecnico di Milano (Milano, Italy, 2012). Her studies on sounds of Istanbul started during her Master’s education. She designed an unconventional guide system including a website, a smart phone application and a sonic souvenir which aims to guide through urban sounds. It was her challenge to design visual interfaces for auditory urban experiences.

Having discovered the richness of cultural sounds in Istanbul, she decided to conduct further research under a PhD program in the department of Design, Technology, Society at Koç University (Istanbul, Türkiye, 2012-2017). Since “The Soundscape of Istanbul” project is located at the intersection of soundscape studies, intangible cultural heritage, museum studies, sensory studies, interaction design, experience design, exhibition design and participatory design, it suits this multidisciplinary program very well. She worked with Assoc. Prof. Nina Ergin from Archeology and History of Art Department. With this project, she aimed to explore the culture and everyday life of the city from a sonic perspective, to collect the urban sonic values and to archive them as intangible cultural heritage elements in Koç University Suna Kıraç Library Digital Collections.

This very sound collection, being first of its kind in Türkiye, was also shared with Europeana Sounds which makes efforts towards protecting Europe’s sound heritage. She also designed exhibitions in order to raise public awareness of the significance of the sounds of Istanbul.

Finally, using her background and education, she initiated the “Soundsslike” project to expand this sound collection by public contribution. Soundsslike project is a crowdsourced sound map which encourages people to record and upload their own sound recordings for protecting urban sounds as a collective work. She makes efforts for this project to become a global action towards collecting cultural sounds and creating a comprehensive archive of how world sounds like.