The AVLU collection by Ayse Yesim Eröktem

Ayse Yesim Eröktem works with craftsmen from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar to give traditional Turkish designs a contemporary twist.

Ayse Yesim Eröktem draws on her Turkish heritage for a new line of contemporary products.

The AVLU collection started out as a business idea for a modern design shop in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with 61 covered streets and over 300 shops attracting up to 400 000 visitors per day, the bazaar presented Eröktem with an opportunity to establish a shop with a new design approach. 

The Grand Bazaar is an important touchstone for the product design culture in Istanbul because of its variety and visitor potential, but mostly for the varied craft culture it has sheltered for centuries, says Eröktem.

Collaborating with local craftsmen in the region, the young designer brings Turkish handcraft traditions to life in a contemporary design language. She worked with local metal spinning, glassblowing and wood-turning craftsmen to create wood, glass and copper jars. “The products are all a re-interpretation of traditional Turkish objects,” she says. 

“My project is an ongoing process of documenting the existing local product and craft cultures combined with a possible new approach in terms of design,” she explains.