I am İO: İsmail Öklügil

Designing is a passion for him. You notice how much he loves it from the glint in his eyes when he says “I love it very much” and are ensured it is love with his every step. A product or an environment both has souls for him and furthermore they’re a part of his soul. While he designs impressive environments, he also puts his mark on enjoyable products. When we met in his office Studiopunto  in Addresistanbul, his İkindi (mid-afternoon) lightings were being packaged to be sent to Habitat.

For him, design comes first and every other necessity of life follows behind. What makes me “me”, are my steps towards creativity in an area where everone else thinks of as a job. He says ‘this is love.’ And follows that he would disappear without them. A short summary of our wonderful chat with İsmail Öklügil is waiting you below…

Which one of the creative disciplines comes first for you?
There is no difference between designing a tea spoon and a skyscraper for me. I enjoy big scaled projects where I can interpret their anthropology in terms of permanence, where I can design their communication with the nature and humans more.

About the connection between the indoors and display…
I can tell about this connection using the movie”The Skin I Live in” which was directed by Pedro Almodovar and starred Antonio Banderas. It is very easy to change what’s outside and this can be done with others’ influence; but how about what’s inside? What’s inside is much more mysterious, you can tell about whatever you want outside. Displays are tools for reflecting whatever you want to reflect from the indoors.

What do you have to say for displays or facades?
Façade is the communicating perimeter or membrane that is bigger than 3 meters and encloses the shell. Display is a little bit smaller. Its perspective and volume is different. The most important property of displays or facades is that you don’t get a second chance for a first impression! You see them and that’s what you get. At first, we care about the outside in all things. Hence, what the front-face tells is very important; they all have their own stories for me. Because a display/façade is an expressionist and brutalist interface, its designer must follow the currents, politics, wars, news closely so as to design impressive and shocking or calm and collected front-faces.

While designing an environment…
Environment, all the objects in the field of vision form an environment. It takes its soul, psychology, sociology from whoever/whatever lives there. Indoor environment means telling whatever exists or lives there wants to express. A brand’s identity or users are references.

While designing environments you actually understand what your employer couldn’t explain. The brand’s identity, its stand or living habits of those that will live in the environment… As a designer, when I ask“Can you introduce yourself to me, who are you?” sometimes my customers get surprised. As if they never thought about who are they… You should know, see, hear whoever is living there so as to design the environment according to that. Durign desing, we strive towards the happiness and peace of the person that will live there and make our decisions according to this.

All of your indoor design projects contain their own enjoyable details. What do you want to say about your Metrocity Cinema Pink movie theater design?
You definitely must see it. I interpreted it from my own hallucinations as if living our underwater dreams on land. While a wall contains 800 coral interpretations of felt, the installation on the other wall contains 10.000 nails. This environment is more than a simple environment. Comfort and joy meets in an environment full of domesticity and art.

How did your product design journey begin?
During my Master in Design education in Domus Academy, my interest towards product design increased. All of my works on product desing have their own stories. My Gezgin’in Anıları (Traveller’s Memories) collection is an example of this. My traveller is actually a shepherd. He strolls in the desert, needs light and sees my İkindi lighting. He wants to hang his woolen cloth and uses my Aba hanger. Other than these, it also contains a canteen, a shirt named Kepenek and a shell coffee table.

When I want to share something with people and want them to connect with it by using product designs, I care about the quality and not the quantity of the product. I want them to say“this product tells me something,” I want them to be surprised.

Studiopunto aside, what is İO?
Studiopunto is finishing its 5th year; İO is my personal brand that I founded just for myself. It is environment where I design whatever I want without any demands from anybody. I’ll design furnitures, drapes, maybe an underwear. They will be products that are mine.

What’s next…

Other than these, I have a lighting collection that addresses ecological concerns. While questioning why we limit lightbulbs while they are enough for lighting, Lambampul appeared. As a reference, I handcuffed the lightbulb. In all of my product designs, I prefer to use the raw state of the materials. On the other hand, it is important for a product to be easily and serially manufacturable to reach more people. I know this, too. To this end, I designed the new plexy versions.

I’m also designing a desktop collection on natural materials. The material I’m going to use is an olive tree. It also has a reason; olive trees do not contain any microbes. We thrashed this world enough; I want to start cleaning from someplace.

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