Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Kenarköse Creative ("KC") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

KC : We are going to reply to the questions as Merve Okçu and Gizem Akdağ. We both graduated from the architecture department at Middle East Technical University. We had built a very strong foundation on design in the school years. Our first steps starting the design journey are separate but then we found out we work well together in our last semester in METU(2015), in an elective course we took together. The course was about digital jewelry design. And less than one year after graduation we started designing brooches inspired by architecture and daily life.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

KC : We choose to become a designer.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

KC : We mostly work on graphic design and brand identity, architecture and interior design, exhibition design, digital media, websites, and product design. We wish to work on more projects where we can design brand identity and space identity together. We are composing an integrated brand identity that is visible in every detail from printed media to digital media. We wish to reflect these to spatial design too and create an exclusive brand identity for brands.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

KC : Our secret ingredient is creating a design environment with free and honest communication.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

KC : Walter Gropius, İhap Hulusi Görey, Paul Rand, Paula Scher, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor, Aldo Rossi, Mies van der Rohe

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

KC : Ziraat Bank logo of İhap Hulusi Görey and Citi Bank logo of Paula Scher. Both logos express so much about the brands. Also, the La Cupola Moka Pot Aldo Rossi designed for Alessi and the famous Barcelona Chair of Mies van der Rohe because they are designer architects like us and those designs showed us there is a huge design world for us in addition to architecture.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

KC : It is hard to choose but our favorites so far are the two projects we submitted to A Design Award: Tualcom Logo and Brand Identity and ODTÜ Sanat 20. Both were very challenging in their own individual way. We directed the requirements of the clients in designs carefully. This meticulous work led us to a good final product.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

KC : We worked really hard, researched so much and criticized each other unmercifully but respectfully.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

KC : We would’ve been salespeople in a designer shop

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

KC : Design is many things but if we have to choose one, the design is the visualization of the combination of different emotions you feel at the same time.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

KC : We are the biggest supporter for each other :)

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

KC : Endless and limitless design critics since the first day of architecture school. It forced us to be better in every project.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

KC : The biggest obstacle was the lack of self-confidence and the lack of persuasive skills it brings.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

KC : A very detailed presentation explaining both the design stages and the product. with a huge confidence

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

KC : More international works :)

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

KC : ODTÜsanat because it is the art festival of the school we graduated from and the city we all grew up in. So, contributing to ODTÜsanat represents a lot of things therefore it’s the most satisfying project we have.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

KC : Designers supporting each other more. Especially female designers.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

KC : Thanks to technological innovations, we can access to a wide range of design work. Also, designers can exchange ideas through online platforms. This makes the design field interactive and international. In addition to that, the rising technologies such as VR and AI expands our horizon in the ways we can’t even imagine before. Shortly, it is accelerating so fast and we need to speed up to catch it.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

KC : It is up to the client and the details of the project, but our aim is to finish in three months.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

KC : We start with defining the context of the project: for which company we are designing, what is the field, who is the target.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

KC : Don’t stop, won’t stop, never stop!

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

KC : They both set each other

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

KC : We design digitally so technology and technological improvements have a big role in our design process.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

KC : They stimulate the senses such as with different materials tactile sense arouses.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

KC : We fall in love immediately. Then we do a little criticizing how to improve it to an even greater design.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

KC : We are co-designing for more than 5 years together. So, we became the ideal design partner of each other.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

KC : Gizem: Zaha Hadid to talk about being a female in a male-dominated field and how being decisive affects your path to success. Merve: Frida Kahlo to talk about how to be and stay creative in hard situations.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

KC : Merve: Black, Berlin, Mantı, Spring, Shoes, The Ordinary Gizem: Blue, Barcelona, Pasta, Spring, Pen, COS

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

KC : There are many funny stuff that happened but one time we were in a meeting and we were discussing the brands with strong brand identities. Our client was obsessed with McDonalds' brand identity and talked about it for hours. At some point, Big Mac was all that we could think about. Naturally, our first stop was the nearest McDonald's after the meeting :D

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

KC : Gizem: Checking on inspirational things and dressing up Merve: Doing a workout and planning the day

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

KC : Gizem: My mother was sure that I was going to be an architect from my passion for drawing Merve: Everybody told me that I should be an architect because of my lego skills


ODTU Sanat 20 Visual Identity Design

ODTU Sanat 20 Visual Identity Design by Kenarköse Creative

Tualcom Logo and Brand Identity

Tualcom Logo and Brand Identity by Kenarköse Creative

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