The intent of Mr. Aziz was to go to Paris in 1968s after studying secondary education at Saint Joseph but his parents wanted him to stay in Istanbul and to become a pharmacist. While searching all conditions for going to Paris, he took the examination for Mimar Sinan University Department of Interior Architecture, but he didn’t pass. He started to the Faculty of Pharmacy and he met with the women of his life. Although their parents did not support, they got married and he left the school when he was in his 2nd year and opened his own gallery. And now, let’s come to the story of Mr. Aziz in the design world…
When did you notice your interest for design?
A.S.: Design and especially furniture has been my sphere of interest since my childhood. When I was 1.5-2 years old, my toy was a carpenter toolkit. Since my father was an army officer and our commodities came a little late to each province we went, a number of solutions were searched for making these empty placed liveable. I was 4-5 years old back then. I was wondering and also helped my father and mother. Some commodities were kept at storages because they didn’t fit in the new houses. And I manufactured new furnitures by cutting, sawing and painting these furnitures.
What was your dream then?
A.S.: To create contemporary and modern furnitures, belonging to me and my company. I can show the things I did in that period. There wasn’t even a decoration magazine then. I was doing with an involuntary desire and wish as if I was charged. You can not differentiate the things I did 30 years ago from the ones I do now.
Were the things you’ve done doing being perceived that time?
A.S.: Of course. There was a very contemporary and intellectual minority then. They were people who have seen the world and who were well-informed and they gave the necessary value for the things I did.
Is it more joyous now?
A.S.: It is more joyous now, because the business we make has come to the level we want and we have opened out to overseas.
How did the world discover you?
A.S.: First, Derin company went out abroad. Until 1997, and especially from 1990, during the intensive consumption times which Ozal period also brought, we became the performers in the projects which the architectures made. And I used my designing side that I have introduced until then in such kind projects. I made many designs but they were all used. All of hundreds, thousands of designs were wasted in a sense. They couldn’t become a collection. We took a certain attitude about Derin’s becoming a brand from 96 and opening out to overseas with its own collections. We stood shoulder to shoulder and started to prepare a collection belonging to us in a universal size.
What advantage did being a son of successful designer and an extraordinary father bring to you in professional terms?
D.S.: I have a father who brought important designer brands of the world to Turkey (in 1983s) and made them introduced with Turkey. Products which went beyond the furniture style in terms of form, and artistic properties of which came to the forefront in that period were largely available at our home. And I could realize the extraordinary properties of these products from the reaction of my friends coming to our home. This was a very accustomed case in out house.
You have also read Saint Joseph as your father did. Then?
D.S.: Then, I finished high school. I learned French and then Italian. In summers, I would go to firms in Italy such as Capellini, Herzani and Moroso for internship. I went back to Italy after completing the Department of Interior Architecture of Bilkent. While carrying out internship in the firm of Capellini, its owner, Julio Capellini was also a lecturer at Duomo Academy at the same time and I gave up master I was planning since I was close to this lecturer. Having worked for 9 months, while I was thinking whether to go back or not, we started to plant the seeds of Derin firm slowly. When I came back to Turkey in late 98, we did warm-up tours for 2 years. We issued our first mini brochure on flooring products. It also included (free internal architecture and product designer) Tanju Özelgin and Hakan Ezer. After one year, we started to add products different from seat units to our collection. We participated in a few fairs in Turkey and we saw that we received most interest from international points. Then we turned our rotation towards abroad in 2002 and since then we started to participate in the fairs organized there.
Can we say that Turkey didn’t understand you but abroad knew your value?
D. S.: No, nothing like that happened. That is, it gains appraising significantly, yes, but we conceived that translation of the works we did here must be available for abroad, too. Our products gave a sense but as soon as we passed Edirne, they represented more meaning. We felt this smell and diverted to abroad.
A.S.: We mainly wanted to respond to some values required by those days and needed for being successful in our business; however, we failed to use our conditioned reflexes. We have become as we have been and attracted too much interest in the conflict arising. We gained too much appreciation when we went abroad. Invitations and awards that we have won are the evidences of our success. To speak more clearly, we have succeeded.
D.S.: When we first started to participate in fairs abroad, they would say about us ‘What on earth do they come from? Their products do not overlap with authentic Turkish image in our vision. Even we have felt that they were slightly investigating. In fact we were subject to many dangers and risks. However, after setting forth this for many years consistently, the doubts in their minds were eliminated and that disadvantage abruptly started to be advantage. We started to attract great attention because we had exceptional and interesting status. At that time, with reflection of foreign publishing’s attraction to us in Turkey, we gradually started be the item of agenda. Furthermore, we are one leg of 3-5 furniture brand that has played a role in terms of positive approach of Europe towards Istanbul.
Aziz Sarıyer’den yaşama dair...
* There is no end for success. We are the master of yesterday, foreman of today and legmen of tomorrow.
*Humankind always displays difference between yesterday and today. Good or bad.
* Recently I have started do nothing to improve myself no more.
* Making research and reading too much are necessary when it is due; however, after your style has been firmed and have become an adult designer, I don’t think there is need for them.
* We don’t produce art. Having contemporary point of view, Derin firm has been producing and offering products.
* Chaos feeds life, whereas order feeds habits.
* There is need for chaotic times for proliferation and improvement of art.
Source: QPlus 2. issue
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