Autoban is one of the most sought-after design studios worldwide. Its gorgeous furniture and spectacular spaces meld respect for tradition with modern straightforwardness. Surprisingly, Autoban doesn’t hail from an established design center such as Berlin, London, or New York, but rather from Istanbul.
Since they founded Autoban 10 years ago, Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar have been creating design at the nexus between Orient and Occident, Asia and Europe—a fitting reflection of the city in which they live and work. Throughout the ages, Istanbul has brought together East and West, as well as Islam and Christianity, in its cultural realm. This unique history continues to influence both the cityscape of the metropolis on the Bosporus and the self-image of its inhabitants.
Özdemir and Çağlar met at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, whose school of architecture is known for teachings that are strongly oriented around classic modernism. The name Autoban is inspired by the Turkish “Otoban” and the German “Autobahn” and stands for its penchant for “really stepping on the gas.”
Autoban’s understanding of design is based in equal measure on local elements and European design theory. Its interiors and furniture designs, which have attracted an international following, move fluidly between modern and traditional, minimalistic and elaborate, luxurious and rustic, and sparse and decorative, without ever appearing superficial or blatant.
This book presents a rich selection of Autoban’s breathtaking projects that are documented in striking photographs and plans. The distinctive and premium-quality concepts for restaurants, hotels, apartments, offices, and retail spaces collected here showcase the studio’s worldview between global cosmopolitanism and its own cultural idiosyncrasies.
The texts in the book were written by Vasif Kortun, director of Istanbul’s SALT, by the curator and cultural historian Deniz Erduman-Calis, and by design journalists Marie Le Fort and Shonquis Moreno. They give further insight into Autoban’s creative process and philosophy as well as the cultural context in which it works.
In only a short time, Autoban’s Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar have established themselves as stars on the global design scene. They founded the studio in 2003 and, only one year later, were named “Best Young Designers of the Year 2004” by the magazine Wallpaper*. Autoban’s furniture is successfully distributed worldwide by De La Espada. The design studio epitomizes a new Turkish design sensibility and its designs for hotels and restaurants define the cityscape of modern Istanbul. Meanwhile, Autoban’s work can also be found around the world in places including Madrid, St. Petersburg, and Hong Kong as well as in Baku, Azerbaijan where they designed all of the interiors for the city’s airport. The hotels that they have designed and furnished appear regularly in the best-of lists of publications such as the Sunday Times Magazine, Condé Nast Traveller, and Tatler Travel.