This May an exhibition of contemporary Turkish design was on display at the third installment of the Wanted Design fair, a burgeoning satellite to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City. Sponsored by The American Turkish Society, Design: Istanbul-New York framed products by nine Turkish designers selected through a juried open-call competition. The exhibition, designed by Brooklyn-based Değer Cengiz, was displayed in wooden shipping crates lined like jewel boxes with dark fabric and featured furniture, tabletop, lighting and a carpet, and featured products by young to mid-career studios, familiar names and less familiar ones.
Pleat Box pendant lights were made by Hande Akçaylı and Murat Koçyiğit of Mashallah Design to suggest the pliability of a textile. The two designers were both trained in Germany and established the studio in 2008.
Industrial designer, design consultant and professor Ali Bakova’s wine set consists of a nesting carafe and drinking glass.
Trained partly in Norway, Umut Demirel designs anything from kitchen products and furniture to promotional products and exhibition space. His Attractive is a magnetized mirror that makes it easy to store things like car keys or hairclips and then “grab-and-go."
Trained in the fine arts in Turkey and having worked for some time in Milan at the Fiat Advanced Design Concept Lab, Tamer Nakışçı of Studio/Nakisci presented his Relax tableware that generates a textural pattern when stacked. He also works across a broad range of design types from product design, conceptual projects and interactive installations to interior design and has earned him the Red Dot and iF product design Awards.
The Tulûat rug by ENSCI-trained and Paris-based Koray Özgen for Dhoku earned him an award for the best floor covering design at the Elle Decoration International Design Awards 2013. His clients include the Centre Georges Pompidou, the City of Paris, Knoll International France and Lille3000 and his own Ozgen Design Collection.
Now working from Istanbul, Müzz Design team’s Erin Türkoğlu and Melodi Bozkurt first met in Pratt Institute's Industrial Design program. Their interests criss-cross from furniture and product to fashion. They introduced their Novela Vessels, a graphical series of tabletop vessels.
Parsons School of Design alum Can Yalman’s work wanders from product and sculptural installations to boat design. His Pisa or whirling dervish-like Tearend tea cup and saucer appears to tilt dizzily while keeping a perfect balance.
Trained as an architect in Turkey, Brooklyn-based Değer Cengiz designed the exhibition stand for the show, as well as these I-beam shaped stools, made from waste material and part of his Cork Furniture Series available from Voos.
Products ranged from Pleat Box, a ceramic light by Hande Akcayli and Murat Kocyigit of Mashallah and the elegantly layered Extra Wine Set, a carafe with drinking glasses by Ali Bakova; Attractive, a magnetized mirror by Umut Demirel; Relax, porcelain tableware that whose irregular shape stack to form an unusual pattern, by Tamer Nakisci; Tulûat, a wool rug by Koray Ozgen; Novela Vessels, ceramic containers by Erin Turkoglu and Melodi Bozkurt of Müzz Design; and the Tearend Teacup and Saucer, a tipsy take on the Turkish tea set by Can Yalman. Turkish food artist Dilara Erbay made a centerpiece specifically for the exhibition, called Wishing Tree, which she decorated with fortunes made from the traditional Anatolian grape paste called pestil.
The jury included Turkish names worth knowing: Gaia&Gino founder, Gaye Cevikel; Ferda Kolatan, co-founder of New York’s su11 architecture+design; Defne Koz, the Chicago and Milan-based principal of Defne Koz Studio and co-founder of Koz-Susani Design; Ayse Birsel , Paris-based co-founder and creative director of Birsel + Seck; and Ali Tayar, founder of New York’s Parallel Design Partnership.