Embracing a national representation model, the London Design Biennale will bring together installations from up to 40 countries and Turkey's contribution will be coordinated by İKSV. The Foundation has formed a Selecting Committee, under the leadership of artist and communication advisor Paul McMillen, with the participation of Koleksiyon's furniture designer and brand director Koray Malhan, and architect Zehra Uçar. The committee invited internationally renowned multidisciplinary design studio Autoban founded by Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar.
Özdemir and Çağlar said "We are very excited to have been invited by İKSV's selecting committee to represent Turkey at the first London Design Biennale this September. London is such a multicultural hotspot for new ideas, it is going to be a great opportunity to reflect on More's Utopia - such universal and exciting theme - and showcase our Turkish heritage and incredible design culture".
Founded by Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar in 2003, Autoban is an Istabul-based multi-disciplinary studio working across architecture and interiors, product and experiential design, with a portfolio that demonstrates their unique design approach on both local and international scale.
Forging a reputation for thoughtfulness, experimentation and craftsmanship, the studio explores the potential of ordinary materials by using them in an unorthodox and artful way, which simultaneously pushes the boundaries with the opportunities of craftsmanship and modern technology. Their contemporary methods of making up design an innate part of the space have not only redefined Istanbul's cityscape, but also results in a portfolio that includes numerous projects in London, Madrid, Hong Kong, Moscow, China and Azerbaijan, while their product designs are showcased at major design exhibitions or appear as installations at art events worldwide such as LDF, ICFF, Salon Del Mobile, Design Biennale Interieur Kortrijk.
The co-founders Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar have participated as keynote speakers and jury members at significant architecture and design events worldwide, including iF Product Design Awards and Downtown Design Dubai. Autoban received many awards at the international level in different categories starting with 2005 Wallpaper* Best Young Designers Award. Other awards include 2014 Red Dot Award with Heydar Aliyev International Airport and 2012 Wallpaper* Design Award "Best Bed" amongst many others.
London Design Biennale
For its inaugural year, the London Design Biennale invites participating countries to explore the theme, "Utopia by Design". 2016 marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of Sir Thomas More's classic, Utopia (1516), a work of political philosophy that describes a fictional country and the ethnography of its contented inhabitants.
Occupying the whole of the Somerset House site, the first ever London Design Biennale will bring together the world's most exciting and innovative designers and will be a stage for debate, discussion and collaboration. Interrogating the history of the utopian idea and exploring the role of design in solving some of humanity's most pressing issues, the London Design Biennale will be a laboratory of ideas that might contribute to making the world a better place.