(jiří macek) The Magnolia designed by the Turkish designer studio called Autoban can be perceived as an exotic response to the legendary Artichoke from Danish designer Poul Henningsen. For a change, their Spider and Octopus evoke the film Star Wars.
When Seyhan Ozdemir and Sefer Caglar founded the Autoban studio in Istanbul in 2003, both of them had already implemented several projects in the field of design and interior design. However, Autoban brought a swift development.
They received the Best Young Designers Award from Wallpaper magazine in 2004 for their first collection. A year later – at 100% design – their installation attracted the attention of another influential design magazine, Blueprint. In 2006, Wallpaper magazine paid much attention to their interior design after the Muzedechanga restaurant in Istanbul won the Best Restaurant Award for 2006. The progressive Portuguese brand De La Espada also took an interest in their growing portfolio. At first sight, Autoban and De La Espada have one thing in common – a passion for traditional handicrafts and natural materials. Thus, under the De La Espada flag, the independent brand of Autoban was established in 2007, a company that manufactures selected pieces and distributes them all over the world. This is a wonderful example of how two stories can intertwine.
The first story is about young Turkish designers who have influenced the face of contemporary design from the bohemian Galata quarter through aesthetics that are reminiscent of the 1950s. The second story, about the De La Espada company, gives a completely new dimension to the traditional furniture manufactured by means of the mother brand and newly-established Atlantico, Autoban and Matthew Hilton range brands.
The De La Espada brand was founded by Luis De Oliveira and Fatima De La Espada in 1993. They opened their first flag store in London in 1996 – both relocating from the Portuguese city of Porto and the Spanish capital of Madrid. From the very beginning, the production of the De La Espada brand was based on their admiration of the great architects of the 1950s, handicrafts, traditional Portuguese crafts, and the methods that they have developed with the help of contemporary design. All this makes De La Espada one of the new brands that have completely changed both the manufacturing and aesthetic standards of the furniture industry over the last ten years.
The collection of the Atlantico brand was partially presented here three days ago when we wrote about the seating furniture of the Japanese Leif.designpark brand. Let us have a look at several lights from the Autoban catalogue. One can see on them what Autoban really likes and why everybody speaks about it so much: simply processed materials and traditional morphology based on handicraft and stories.
Similar to the Artichoke petals designed by Henningsen, the Magnolia petals prevent you from being directly dazzled by the bulb. Even though they are not so thoughtfully artful and constructed, they are characterized by poetics. It is as if they were a feeding place for butterflies, a platform on which they could safely land and flap their wings. The Magnolia’s aesthetics, together with the aesthetics of the one-meter Big light (made from plywood), take us back to the 1950s and 60s. The Big light seems to be cut out from period interior design. However, it loses nothing from its originality. The Magnolia is reminiscent of the organic forms by Frederik Kiesler, Eero Saarinen, and Alvaro Aalto.
In addition, the Spider wall light and the Octopus ceiling light both have a touch of old submarines. The technological nostalgia of these lights, reminiscent of an octopus and a marine mine, makes one think about the entire history of cult sci-fi films. Moreover, it leads us to our own garage – as if we had welded the octopus ourselves.
“Each part is a part of a story,” says Autoban. The story they tell on the banks of the Bosporus Strait is no doubt one of the most interesting ones in the world of contemporary interior design.
The De La Espada brand is represented by Konsepti in the Czech Republic.
DoubleOctopus, design: Autoban, photo: De La Espada