Can Istanbul become a design capital?

Istanbul Design Week has contributed to Istanbul’s reputation in many ways by showcasing Turkey and its designers to the world, forming an international network through design and improving the power of Turkey’s reputation in the field of fashion.
The sixth Istanbul Design Week offered a full program on design, trends, fashion, architecture and technology On the old Galata Bridge from Sept. 28 to Oct.2. Photo: Sudhir Sharma.

The sixth Istanbul Design Week offered a full program on design, trends, fashion, architecture and technology On the old Galata Bridge from Sept. 28 to Oct.2. Photo: Sudhir Sharma.

Last week, Istanbul Design Week (IDW), the oldest international design event in the city, hosted 500 local and international designers on the architecturally unique Old Galata Bridge. More than 40,000 design and art enthusiasts visited the event where 1,280 designs – 200 of them award-winning – were exhibited. Exhibitors participated from 22 countries including Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, England, Finland, Japan, Singapore and Serbia.

It was the sixth year of the event, which was organized by Dream Design Factory (dDf), Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and daily Hürriyet. IDW offered a full program on design, trends, fashion, architecture and technology on new projects, workshops and exhibitions.

The exhibits that attracted the most visitors were the Design Spirit Exhibition, which was about the story of 40 Turkish designers under the age of 40 and their relationships with Istanbul, and the Istanbul Cymbals Exhibition, which brought together designers Aziz Sarıyer, Akın Nalca and Şule Koç.

“Today, design has achieved a totally international form of being,” said dDf president Dr. Esra Ekmekçi. “The relationships within the international design foundations allow many international projects. These define and introduce new trends and take the shape of global relationships. Turkish designers as well as the IDW benefit from the creation of an international network in the design world.”

IDW started its journey by aiming to make Istanbul a design capital and since then has contributed to Istanbul’s reputation in many ways by showing Turkey and its designers to the world, forming an international network through design and improving the power of Turkey’s reputation in this field.

“Istanbul has kept its status as one of the 10 most touristic cities in the world,” Ekmekçi said. “It is the perfect combination of East and West cultures where Asia meets Europe. The city is also separated by a sea and has a rich historical background that goes back 8,000 years. We believe that it is forming its spot within the international design and art community around the world thanks to events such as IDW.”

Ekmekçi emphasized the importance of design, an essential factor in the process of branding and said design would play a big role in Turkey’s aim of reaching $500 billion in exports by the year 2023.

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Melis Alphan
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News