Supported by a major grant from the Turkish Cultural Foundation, the exhibition showcases design creations from nine Turkish designers who were selected through an open call juried by an iconic group of Turkish design luminaries. Exhibits range from the “Pleat Box,” a ceramic light by Hande Akcayli and Murat Kocyigit of Mashallah; “Extra Wine-set,” complete with bottle and drinking glass by Ali Bakova; “Attractive,” a mirror and magnet combination by Umut Demirel; “Relax,” porcelain tableware that creates different patterns when stacked, by Tamer Nakisci; “Tulûat,” a wool rug by Koray Ozgen; “Novela Vessels,” ceramic tabletop by Erin Turkoglu and Melodi Bozkurt of Müzz Design; and the “Tearend Teacup and Saucer,” a contemporary take on the Turkish tea set by Can Yalman.
The jury included the following astounding design experts: creator of the Turkish luxury brand Gaia&Gino, Gaye Cevikel; Ferda Kolatan, co-founder of New York’s creatively advanced su11 architecture+design; Defne Koz, founder of Defne Koz Studio and co-founder of Koz-Susani Design; Ayse Birsel , co-founder and creative director of Birsel + Seck; and Ali Tayar, founder of Parallel Design Partnership.
“We are proud to be pioneering the first collective exhibition of Turkish designers at Wanted Design and bringing a showcase of some of Turkey’s finest design to the design capital of the world,” said Murat Köprülü, Chairman of The American Turkish Society.
Visitors who flocked the Design: Istanbul- New York booth could not have missed food artist Dilara Erbay's Wishing Tree, a centerpiece decorated with fortunes made of the traditional Anatolian grape paste pestil. The installment, made specially for the Design: Istanbul-New York exhibit, was Erbay's personal apology to Mother Earth for the “disturbances caused to it by mankind,” as the food artist described.
The physical booth, made of five wooden industrial crates holding the designers' display items, was a design masterpiece in itself conceptualized by New York-based designer Deger Cengiz (making multiple appearances during this year's NY Design Week including MoMa Design Store's Destination NYC) and built by independent scholar, architectural designer & woodworker Albin Lohr-Jones. Over 2,000 people visited the booth on opening night alone.
Design: Istanbul-New York side events for Wanted Design include a discussion on Saturday, May 18 by two inspiring women - Turkish luxury brand Gaia&Gino's creator Gaye Cevikel and design writer and style editor Melissa Feldman, who will lead an engaging conversation on the joys and challenges of being a global design entrepreneur.
“Design products that are commercially successful are achieved with inspiration and emotion; it is the synergy and bond between the entrepreneur and the designer that creates the vision of what the product is going to be,” Cevikel said of successful designs.
The Society's program continues into Sunday with a lively collaborative performance by Dilara Erbay and designer mixologists of Brooklyn The Guinea Pig Group at the Effeti Showroom. The talented duo will conjure up an innovative menu made up of fresh herbs, dried flowers and artisanal cocktails. Over 100 food lovers are expected at this sensational performance by Istanbul's culinary wizard and the talented mixologists.
The American Turkish Society's Program Director Doga Kayalar Polat who led the project called it the result of "the generous efforts of everyone involved from jury members, booth makers, graphic designers, to the catering team and site volunteers," and added, "We are forever grateful to Turkish Cultural Foundation, Armaggan Art &Design Gallery, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Sara Bengur Interiors, and DADA Goldberg for their sponsorship, and show contributors Deger Cengiz, Albin Lohr-Jones, Deniz Ayaz, Dilara Erbay, The Guinea Pig Group, Simit & Smith, Secil Cornick of See-see Multimedia, and J’adore Andy Photography.”