Delicate and essential designs by Studio laf. – Interview with Uygar Gözcü
Uygar Gözcü, founder of Studio laf., handcrafts and designs pieces of furniture with an essential style permeated by a vintage allure
Studio laf., established by the Istanbul-based designer Uygar Gözcü, presented for the first time in Europe its projects at the Dutch Design Week 2019 as part of Isola Design District Unlimited Design – Dutch Edition.
The studio, besides offering design and production services, develops and sells pieces of furniture with an essential style and clean aesthetics. Each piece is handmade and carefully designed using sophisticated techniques and the finest materials, making every single item an elegant and refined furniture design, suitable for any environment.
Who is behind Studio laf.?
“Studio laf. was established in 2016 by the industrial designer Uygar Gözcü. After completing my education, I set up a workshop with the ”fine materials unique experience” motto. I carry out the design and marketing process for all the products by myself and also work with the artisans.
After winning the A Design Award in 2018, I entered the Designer Ranking and then in 2019 I had the opportunity to present the products to Europe for the first time with Dutch Design Week.”
What does “design” mean to Studio laf. and how would you describe your design style?
“Design for Studio laf. is mainly equilibrium. Somehow harmonizing the hardness of a material with the softness of the design lines. I think everything in the design is a matter of balancing and this balance is achieved through the use of a variety of elements such as colors, selected materials and shapes. The easiest to read and timeless designs feature minimal lines and my style is expressed in all these elements.”
Your projects have a minimal style, permeated by a classic allure. Where do you get your inspiration form?
“I think that being born in a place where many cultures live together has had a great impact on my projects and lines. When I go out on the street, I find the plot of many historical periods and cultures that constantly influence my projects.
Life itself plays an important role in shaping my designs: the posture of a ballet artist or the leaves that sway on the branches of the tree are fundamental sources of inspiration for the soft and delicate lines of my projects.”
How do you combine functionality and aesthetics?
“My goal, usually, is to be multifunctional. But in addition to functionality, the form of a product is of great importance. Personally, I believe it is important to have a clean appearance, but at the same time sculptural to enable the products to stand out in a room. When I achieve this balance, I’m sure the combination of function and form is completed.”
Do you aim at selling your works directly consumers or in the contract market?
“It is very nice to sell in the Contract Market, being a system that works very well, but there is also a negative aspect. All my products and designs have a history, but in this type of market, it is not possible to transfer the definition of such stories to the end-user. In the Contract Market, the storytelling is completely lost.”
You work mainly with metal and glass materials. What other materials would you like to work with?
“I generally work with metal, glass and marble. The use of natural materials is of great importance to me: the idea of mixing a material that is not found in nature does not appeal to me. In my future projects, I would like to work with wood in combination with different natural stones.”
You design and then you handcraft your creations. Which of these parts of the designing process do you prefer?
“If I really have to choose I’d say the design process: when the idea first appears, it’s very exciting for me. It is the opportunity and the moment to take the shapes and lines that I’m looking for and then transfer to the finished piece.
However, my projects are handcrafted and this makes every single piece very special. The crafting phase offers a completely different experience and enables me to create a genuine emotional bond with my projects.”
What piece of advice would you share with emerging designers?
“Design starts on paper, but without the production, it doesn’t find space in real life. I can, therefore, advise them to see, experience, touch and learn firsthand how each material takes the form we imagined. Only by touching and manipulating in person the materials we can establish a true connection with our projects and fully understand the production process.”