Modern Istanbul Design: Autoban

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March 4, 2010

Istanbul modern? In a word, it’s Autoban. With their east-meets-west twist on mid-century classics, this young duo has jump-started their hometown’s design scene.

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  Özdemir founded the design firm Autoban with Sefer Çağlar in 2003, eight years after they met, at age 20, at Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University—–Özdemir studying architecture, Çağlar interior design.
    Özdemir founded the design firm Autoban with Sefer Çağlar in 2003, eight years after they met, at age 20, at Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University—–Özdemir studying architecture, Çağlar interior design.
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  One of Autoban’s graphic whimsies, where silhouetted animals interact with furniture.
    One of Autoban’s graphic whimsies, where silhouetted animals interact with furniture.
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  The House Café evokes colonnaded patterns of mosques, albeit in a secular manner.
    The House Café evokes colonnaded patterns of mosques, albeit in a secular manner.
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  In Özdemir’s living room an Autoban Box sofa faces an Eames 670 lounger, its clear predecessor. Their Octopus chandelier’s lit legs beckon to the ceiling, which boasts a pattern as typical to the city as tiled floor.
    In Özdemir’s living room an Autoban Box sofa faces an Eames 670 lounger, its clear predecessor. Their Octopus chandelier’s lit legs beckon to the ceiling, which boasts a pattern as typical to the city as tiled floor.
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  The King lamp and One Armed chair showcase the kind of detailed woodwork that’s been done in the district for centuries. The De La Espada partnership was fortuitous, as the manufacturers also specialize in woodwork.
    The King lamp and One Armed chair showcase the kind of detailed woodwork that’s been done in the district for centuries. The De La Espada partnership was fortuitous, as the manufacturers also specialize in woodwork.
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  Özdemir works at her desk, conveniently just a few blocks from her flat.
    Özdemir works at her desk, conveniently just a few blocks from her flat.
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  Autoban’s showroom in Tünel is on the same street as the firm’s recently expanded office, which is in an early 19th-century building.
    Autoban’s showroom in Tünel is on the same street as the firm’s recently expanded office, which is in an early 19th-century building.
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  After meeting at university Özdemir and Çağlar form Autoban in Istanbul. Their interior design practice begins to take off after their first commission, the Sedir cafe.
    After meeting at university Özdemir and Çağlar form Autoban in Istanbul. Their interior design practice begins to take off after their first commission, the Sedir cafe.
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  Supported by interior design work, Autoban also designs lighting, seating, and tables that combine classic sensibility with whimsical spontaneity. 
“I found this piece of metal,” says Özdemir of the Spider lamp, “and put 
a bulb in the middle. The shadows on the wall were like a spider.”
    Supported by interior design work, Autoban also designs lighting, seating, and tables that combine classic sensibility with whimsical spontaneity. “I found this piece of metal,” says Özdemir of the Spider lamp, “and put a bulb in the middle. The shadows on the wall were like a spider.”
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  Functioning as a stool, coffee table, and magazine rack, the Pumpkin is a multifunctional design.
    Functioning as a stool, coffee table, and magazine rack, the Pumpkin is a multifunctional design.
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  Autoban kept the original integrity of this former restaurant turned residential Loft  by incorporating some of the original features.
    Autoban kept the original integrity of this former restaurant turned residential Loft by incorporating some of the original features.
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  With legs stemming from the globe and lightbulbs emanating from the legs, the appearance of an octopus takes shape.
    With legs stemming from the globe and lightbulbs emanating from the legs, the appearance of an octopus takes shape.
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  This winsome poster was designed to help promote the mid-modern inspired Bergere chair.
    This winsome poster was designed to help promote the mid-modern inspired Bergere chair.
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  Another classic piece in a long line of De La Espada collaborations, the Bergère chair made its debut in 2005.
    Another classic piece in a long line of De La Espada collaborations, the Bergère chair made its debut in 2005.
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  The design of the Mushroom family of stools was function driven: They can 
be seats or tables.
    The design of the Mushroom family of stools was function driven: They can be seats or tables.
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  Located in their hometown of Istanbul, the Art8 art gallery was completed in 2006.
    Located in their hometown of Istanbul, the Art8 art gallery was completed in 2006.
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  The Single Octopus chandelier, designed by Autoban, hangs in the kitchen of Çağlar's Istanbul apartment.
    The Single Octopus chandelier, designed by Autoban, hangs in the kitchen of Çağlar's Istanbul apartment.
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  Autoban’s interior work continues to showcase and inspire new product designs. The Box sofa is specifically intended to bring contrast into rooms filled with curvaceous products like the King Lamp.
    Autoban’s interior work continues to showcase and inspire new product designs. The Box sofa is specifically intended to bring contrast into rooms filled with curvaceous products like the King Lamp.
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  Interiors like that of V2K Akmerkez keep Autoban thinking about architectural space.
    Interiors like that of V2K Akmerkez keep Autoban thinking about architectural space.
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  A series of lucrative interior jobs from a pair of hotels (Witt Istanbul Suites and 
the Marmara Sisli) keeps pace with further explorations in furniture design, like the King lamp.
    A series of lucrative interior jobs from a pair of hotels (Witt Istanbul Suites and the Marmara Sisli) keeps pace with further explorations in furniture design, like the King lamp.
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  Autoban's redesign of the The Marmara Sisli Hotel included replacing the existing facade, creating an all concrete bar in the lobby, and outfitting every room with a mixture of raw materials.
    Autoban's redesign of the The Marmara Sisli Hotel included replacing the existing facade, creating an all concrete bar in the lobby, and outfitting every room with a mixture of raw materials.
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  Mirroring a life sized chess piece, the King lamp was created by the duo in 2006.
    Mirroring a life sized chess piece, the King lamp was created by the duo in 2006.
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  Kitchenette Bebek is a three-story restaurant that was completed in 2008. The second floor is an open lounge area, while the third floor "Library room" is reserved for the gentleman.
    Kitchenette Bebek is a three-story restaurant that was completed in 2008. The second floor is an open lounge area, while the third floor "Library room" is reserved for the gentleman.
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  A new addition to the Autoban family, the Deco sofa also has an ottoman counterpart.
    A new addition to the Autoban family, the Deco sofa also has an ottoman counterpart.
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  Though Autoban’s products have been made and distributed by De La Espada since 2007, this year they launch new pieces like the popular Nest chair. “It’s like its name,” says Özdemir. “Sometimes you need to be alone, to daydream, but still be aware of your surroundings.”
    Though Autoban’s products have been made and distributed by De La Espada since 2007, this year they launch new pieces like the popular Nest chair. “It’s like its name,” says Özdemir. “Sometimes you need to be alone, to daydream, but still be aware of your surroundings.”

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