Curated by
Füsun Eczacıbaşı
Koray Duman

As Turkish architects, we have always been interested in emerging designers from Turkey. The global design industry is a competitive market and to create a recognizable and successful brand in this large marketplace is challenging.  In this context, we believe providing a platform that can support designers from Turkey is essential for the success of Design Industry in Turkey.

For us, curating a booth at Wanted Design with Turkish Designers is two fold. On the one hand, our aim is to create an infrastructure that will encourage and promote work of these designers in a global context. On the other hand, our desire is to start a dialogue between Turkish designers that might lead to a larger design community in Istanbul and elsewhere.

As we started working on the booth, the project took life of its own. New products came about from collaboration between us and the designers and between the designers. We also recognized that the unique circumstances of the relationship between contemporary designers and traditional artisan shop and craftsmen ateliers in Turkey can provide a new alternative to the established binary oppositions of ‘local versus global’ or ‘designer versus maker’ of the global design trade.

This project is a labor of love in its truest sense. We would not be able to curate this booth without the faith placed in us by the designers and the support of our sponsors; STEPEVI, MNG Kargo, Apa Tasarım, The Guide Istanbul and Misela. We also would not be able to carry on the task of producing a booth in an international design fair if we didn’t lean on Felekşan Onar, Fol and Dada Goldberg for their professional support.

We hope you will enjoy the work of these talented designers as much as we enjoyed putting together their work in our booth.

Istanbul Design Collective at Wanted Manhattan 2018

A group of nine contemporary design studios working in Istanbul will present selected original works to the New York design audiences this spring, during Design Week.

Co-curated by two Turkish architects in two continents - Koray Duman in New York and Füsun Eczacıbaşı in Istanbul, and organized in collaboration with designer Felekşan Onar, the exhibition will present a scene representative of Istanbul contemporary living , featuring works by: Autoban, Begüm Cana Özgur, Feyz Design, Fy-Shan Glass Studio, Gorbon Tiles, Linens, Merve Kahraman, Mucs Studio, Santimetre.

The group represents the diversity in Istanbul’s design scene, bringing together works by small independent creators as well as established design brands, working with a range of materials including ceramics, glass, textile, wood and metal.

The common character within the exhibited designs can be attributed to the unique collaborative process between Istanbul designers and craftsmen, which dates back centuries. Tapping into the talent fostered through the ancient tradition of artisanal guilds, Istanbul’s cosmopolitan designers are able to work closely and iteratively with artisans that have perfected their craft through generations.

This organic dialogue between modern and traditional breaks down some of the common barriers in design and gives a certain dynamism to Istanbul design. It allows designers, emerging or established, to experiment with a range of materials and ideas with ease, produce smaller batches, keeping the design scene enterprising and creative.

While their ideas flow constantly across borders, these designers remain rooted in production methods unique to Istanbul, with craft ateliers acting as their coprotagonists in shaping and developing their ideas. Artisans lend their manual genius, material mastery and centuries-old techniques to the fabrication of some of the most progressive products coming out of Istanbul. In turn, designers are pulling those ancient crafts and craftspeople into the contemporary market and into the future through their forward-looking forms and unorthodox material combinations.

This design process, itself, remains truly local to Istanbul, while their design vision is unmistakably global.


Design by Fol