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Maison & Objet 2014: Turkish Designers

Four up-and-comers twist their country's tradition, from rugs to tea tables, at the Paris design fair

by Isabelle Doal in Design on 29 January 2014

With every edition of the Parisian interior design show at Maison & Objet, a group of talented up-and-comers is celebrated as potentially famous signatures under the label "talents à la carte." This January 2014 edition saw the jury putting the spotlight on the emerging Turkish creative scene—understandable, since Istanbul is currently producing some of the world's most interesting designers. Among the selection of six promising designers, we have highlighted four of them (all Istanbul-based) who cleverly integrate Turkish tradition into their work while maintaining a subtle, at times minimal, approach and sometimes with a mischievous sense of humor.

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If Turkey is famous for one thing, it's rugs. Industrial designer Umut Demirel refreshed the traditional concept by swapping old-fashioned complicated patterns for a contemporary, sober and geometrical motif, and then cutting it into pieces that can be freely assembled. His modular "layout rug" consists of a set of ten interchangeable pieces. Made of wool from Anatoly and dyed with natural colors, the pieces are bound together with metal chains, allowing all kinds of different compositions of the jigsaw-type creation.

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Along with rugs, Turkey is famous for its tea, grown on the Black Sea coasts. More than just a beverage, tea is a part of everyday life for all Turkish people; whether it's being sipped on a street corner or at an ornamental gathering with a traditional silver tray table. Interior designer and co-founder of LaBtasarim studio, Ceren Basgoze has imagined this traditional three-legged tea table, in a most mischievous way. A nod to a less wholesome Turkish tradition, the "Percin" tray handle is a bent knife, hammered into the the tabletop. Remaining true to LaBtasarim's enthusiasm for upcycling, the table is made from an antique metal tray, oak legs with a repurposed knife.

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Mosaic is also a Turkish specialty. Industrial designer Sule Koç successfully plays with the concept, while almost completely changing it. Replacing the traditional rectangular, square and circular pieces with oblong forms, Koç created a decorative yet minimal mural collection—all with sharp and diagonal cuts. The collection, “Stone & More” is all made from natural stone and is both intricate and simple. Also awarded by Red Dot design, Koç shows a real enthusiasm for texture and shape as well as the playful angle they can bring to a design.

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Among the productions offered by 333km design studio—founded in 2011 by Deniz Duru—a standout was their backgammon table. Designed in the modernist '50s style, the solid Iroko wood table comes with square seats which can be opened and used for storage. The beautiful inlaid woodwork acts as a homage to timber, one of Duru's passions.

Images courtesy of respective brands

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