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A Magnum Opus in the Open Office

Sept. 1, 2015

How artwork and musical composition have informed Koleksiyon's furniture

Having made a North American debut at NeoCon 2015 and recently relocated its headquarters from Turkey to Texas, Koleksiyon has already unveiled a unique collection of offerings, and the company’s lead designer has infused the lines with an artistic approach.

“My method is about the relationship of society with the instruments we create, and how they shape our culture and era. In this context, everything becomes connected with art, architecture, literature, music, and design,” explained Koray Malhan, brand director for Koleksiyon. “It’s all about human curiosity in understanding the laws of the universe, and in the connections with all these different muses. The design is not just an aesthetic—it is informed by meaning.”

His design process is also informed by music. In response to the shift toward open offices, Malhan considered composition and how collaborative work environments encourage many voices to get involved.

“Modern jazz is influenced by every player, and there are new inputs every time. This is how I want to see design,” he explained. “Classical music is a closed system with one composer who finishes the work and others play it. But design can be recomposed and opened. There is a relationship.”

The Tube line aims to illuminate this relationship in the way its repeating pieces interact with each other and the users. One acts like a cabinet at one height or a surface at another, while creating a hollow emptiness between the stacked areas. “They’re very free and can be composed in different ways,” said Malhan. “As well as storage or workspace, you have negative spaces and areas for display. You create meaning in those spaces and allow for human interaction. Suddenly a boring cabinet is an installation piece, which is much more exciting for a designer.”

The Cap collection is a covered, private piece that offers respite from the typical work environment, intended for breakaway, communal areas and allowing for technology use. It was inspired by a photograph titled, “Jumping into the Void,” which depicts a man jumping out of a window into thin air. “The image is iconic. It resembles the passage to the sublime,” explained Malhan. “When I make a piece, I don’t concentrate on the table, legs, or details, but on our relationship to work and how it evolves. I tried to interpret Cap as a box that you can jump or get lost in.”

Malhan also provides opportunities for students and young professionals to get immersed in the A&D world through his work with Design Foundation Istanbul, a non-profit organization that provides platforms for creative minds to get together, an example of which is the Bodrum Design Village that houses six workshops and a restaurant, guest house, and showroom.

“It’s a place where people can exchange ideas from around the word,” Malhan said. “The institution is very much interested in the culture of design—not designing objects, but the social, historical, and anthropological impact.”

Expect to feel Malhan’s influence for some time to come as he continues paving the way through the crossroads of art and design.

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