3daysofdesign is a Scandinavian platform for global talents to showcase new concepts in design and its eleventh edition took Copenhagen by storm for three days.

22 June 2024|In Case Series| TUĞÇE KAYAR

Last week, Copenhagen was the center of attention for the design circuit. More than 250 industry professionals came together in the city’s unique atmosphere for 3daysofdesign, the platform focusing on innovative, creative, functional, and sustainable designs. Forget the loud, maximalist setting of Salone del Mobile. This is Copenhagen. Here, you wander around the streets quietly and slowly. The eleventh edition of 3daysofdesign is here, with its most comprehensive version to date and spread across the city’s showrooms, stores, streets, galleries, museums, pop-ups, and exhibition venues. The city was divided into ten zones for this special event to reflect different design characteristics, and the exhibitions were grouped accordingly. All quintessentially Scandinavian—systematic and orderly. Therefore, there is no better place to take a closer look at the creative design landscape of the future alongside Danish legends such as Louis Poulsen, Verner Panton, Finn Juhl, and Fritz Hansen.

Take Copenhagen-based decoration and design magazine Ark Journal, for example. They chose the relatively isolated Søndre Frihavn Marina for their ‘Dialogue’ exhibition. This is the city’s old industrial zone, once home to warehouses, workshops for horse carriages and train wagons, and blacksmiths. The exhibition venue, Pakhus11, was formerly a power plant but was modernized while preserving its rustic character. This scenography is perhaps the closest to Sanayi313’s location in Istanbul, its brand position, and its designs. Remarkable brands such as Asplund, Bomma, Atelier de Troupe, Michael Anastassiades, and cc-tapis also share much in common.

Below is a brief chat with Enis Karavil, Founder and Creative Director of Sanayi313 in Copenhagen, and the highlights of 3daysofdesign.

‍Signe Byrdal Terenziani, CEO of 3daysofdesign, states, ‘Dreams are the gateway to our deeper thoughts. A launching pad for the imagination, free of the limitations posed by practicality. Unconventional ideas and solutions can emerge from the dreamscape.’ What are your dreams?

Our needs shape designs. Sanayi313 is an interior architecture studio. That means we have more experience spotting what might be overlooked when designing a house. This is why we started making furniture. To have the liberty of choosing materials and combinations we couldn’t find and putting them together. Yes, the theme of this year’s festival is ‘Dare to Dream,’ and it is our job to make people’s dream homes come true. So, this theme suits us quite well. Our dream for the 313 Lounge Collection was to create versatile designs for places where people gather and socialize. Imagine a lounge that allows communication with the person sitting behind you. This is possible with the 19313 daybed.

This is Sanayi313’s debut appearance at 3daysofdesign. Why did you take part in the festival and this exhibition in particular?

We had a nice weekend with Ark Journal’s Founder and Creative Director, Mette Barfod when he visited us in Istanbul. We remained in touch after that. When he decided to curate an exhibition for 3daysofdesign, he invited Sanayi313. We gladly agreed to be part of an event that brings together innovative brands from different disciplines.

You recently produced the classic 07313 coffee table from stainless steel for the first time. The 14313 armchair and 19313 daybed now combine natural leather on an ash wood frame. How did you decide on the materials for the 313 Lounge Collection?

Although it might have become the trend recently, this collection includes ash wood, which we have used for eight years. I’m a bit of a believer in repetition and perseverance. A design you created eight years ago can still be relevant when you do something consistently and keep at it. I think ash has a very warm feeling and creates interesting contrasts when combined with different materials. It is also very durable. It lacks the simplicity to appeal to a greater audience, but I adore it. This is a root; a pattern emerges from inside the tree. I see it as revealing this pattern of nature. As a dominating pattern, we preferred combining it with simple forms in the 313 Lounge Collection. We introduced leather and stainless steel to this collection alongside thuja and ash. On the other hand, we can transform materials. We can also produce personalized products by matching a combination of different materials.

The designs have simple forms, yet they also have a sculptural aspect when it comes to volume and size.

Exactly. However, this collection emphasizes functionality more than the previous ones. We want them to be used daily without losing that sculptural feeling.

What is your biggest market, and how are deliveries going?

For the past six years, we have been selling products worldwide. I believe that we will grow our sales if we keep our promises. We must stick to deadlines, but we cannot afford to compromise on quality. Currently, America is our biggest market. We make agreements with galleries for international trade. We prefer to be represented by them. For example, Sanayi313 is represented by the Philia Gallery in New York. It takes about 8 to 12 weeks to produce and ship from Turkiye once the order is received.

Why is it important that your designs are produced in Turkiye?

We have produced in different countries before, but Turkiye’s craftsmanship quality is superior to world standards. Therefore, we will continue producing here. Moreover, supplying the international market with products created and produced in Turkiye is very satisfying. During 3daysofdesign, many people noticed the materials we used and our workmanship. People were surprised that these hand-made, high-quality products were made in Turkiye.

Products made according to specific principles, creating positive changes and emphasizing functionality as much as aesthetics, are regarded as ‘good design.’ What makes a design truly ‘good’ today?

Good design is timeless. Today, designs by Eames, Charlotte Perriand, and Eileen Gray maintain their popularity because they age well. They are still functional and contemporary even if years have passed.

What excites you in the world of design right now? Are there any designers, platforms, or creations you can name?

What excites me recently is furniture collections, especially collaborations between designers from different disciplines. Take the designs from Bottega Veneta’s latest collaboration with Cassina, for example. The partnerships of different minds provide unique output, like a fashion designer collaborating with a white goods brand or a furniture designer. Collaborating with a porcelain artist, graphic designer, or fashion designer is always exciting for Sanayi313. I don’t have a favorite designer, nor do I like every design by one brand. One gallery I admire is Olivier Gustav in Copenhagen.

Sanayi313 is essentially an interdisciplinary platform. How do these different components communicate with each other, and how do they contribute to your creative process?

It is our way of expressing ourselves to Sanayi313. I regard us as a creative hub. Under one umbrella, we have a restaurant, a furniture collection, a gallery, and an interior design office. Different disciplines nourish each other, combining to create something compelling and original. This is what sets us apart.

3daysofdesign highlights

  • Helle Mardahl decided to exhibit her existing glass designs with an unconventional installation instead of producing many things we don’t need. She staged her showroom in Copenhagen to look like the home of a shopaholic woman. Mardahl’s colorful glass objects were displayed around the female character, who was shown hiding under her sheets in a large bedroom of a messy apartment or eating alone with her dog at a large dining table.
  • Verpan stood out as one of the most active brands at 3daysofdesign. Working like a club throughout the festival, Verpan organized a different event every day besides creative talks—my favorite was the Negroni party! This was a great setting to delve deeper into Verner Panton’s systematic design approach, which is focused on fun and socialization.
  • The most striking exhibition of the festival was by &tradition, which staged all floors of its showroom like a house. Charming designs were on every level, from the new editions of British designer Robin Day to the sofa design created for the brand by Italian designer Luca Nichetto.
  • Matias Moellenbach’s Interpolate Chair stood out straight away in the multiple exhibition venue of Frederiksgade 1, in Marmorkurken, the busiest area of 3daysofdesign.
  • Too Good became one of the festival’s most popular brands due to its collaborations with Frama and Rue Verte.
  • Etage Project is an exhibition space that pushes the boundaries of abstraction in Copenhagen’s art and design scene. This year, the venue hosted a collaboration between the creative design platform rawii and French designer Erwan Bouroullec. The result: A place that is somewhere between a store, a laboratory, and an art gallery, where every object is on sale.
  • Tabelau’s ‘Domestic Pleasures’ show conveyed details that make a house a home through the filter of functional art. It brought together Sigurd Schelde’s candlesticks and light fixtures, furniture by Jacob Mathias Egeberg, who produces domestic designs with industrial techniques, Willem van Hooff’s ceramics, and many other items for sale. Meanwhile, Tableau also designed Louise Roe’s exhibition concept for this year’s edition.
  • The ‘Resilience’ exhibition, organized by Danish carpet design studio Knot House, was dedicated to the durability and versatility of wood, metal, concrete, and wool. It was impossible not to fall in love with Natalia Criado’s tableware, teapots, and vases.