Gülşah Cantaş – A Designer Is Always Responsible For Renewing Own Vision

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After graduating from the Department of Interior Architecture at Bilkent University, he completed his master’s degree in New York. With more than ten years of experience, Kontra manages to create a new dimension by bringing a different perspective and design understanding to many projects in different typologies. The continuation of our pleasant interview is on the following page.

Could you tell us about the establishment process of Kontra?
Kontra was founded in 2009. During the establishment process, its name also has a story and a meaning. Our counterpart is our design manifest and opposing side, which argues that contrasts must complement each other in order to construct the balance in space. It expresses our reaction to the same interior arrangements and fabrication works that we encounter in the world of design.

In addition, we can define Kontra as a team of minds where space and ideas are studied, explored, analyzed, created and transformed. We provide concept consultancy services for creative ideas and design in order to meet the specific needs of commercial and residential projects, and we design products that meet the needs of the place by performing contemporary interior design and applications in the projects we manage the whole process.

You sign many projects with different typologies and show the difference of Kontra in design understanding in all of your projects. How would you define your design philosophy?
The survival of a space is made possible by the perfect harmony of functional and aesthetic elements that will keep it alive. I think that the designer is obliged to correctly determine the criteria to implement this perfect harmony and to follow the developments and to renew his vision at all times. We build our design philosophy on balance in space and believe that contrasts must complement each other. For example, we try to achieve the perfect harmony in the space by combining hot and cold materials.

Can you talk about things that inspire you in your designs? Are there elements that you can call a must?
I can say that all the details of life inspired me in my designs. It can be a city, a building, a song, a color, a work of art or even a street texture. I travel constantly to feed myself. Whichever project I’m running at that time, I’m researching the best examples of the project in the world and trying to see it. In this way, I can fully free my mind and bring a different perspective to each project.

How do you assess the understanding of the internal architecture in Turkey?
In order for an interior designer to work, such a demand must exist in the building industry. Interior architecture is in fact a fast working, demanding discipline in our country. There are many talented companies that do this. We have a rich culture that connects the two continents. The Turks love well-designed places where they can feel good and there is an incredible movement in Istanbul.

Besides, unfortunately our machine tracks are weak. We are able to manufacture based on crafts and manpower.

Turk Fatih Tutak, Morini, Turkey Regis Brasserie and Dean & Deluca restaurant are some of your projects. What is experience design and how do you do it?
We live in the age of experience industry. Now people are looking for innovation in every place they go. We are actually designing how people will transfer their experiences to each other in the places they go. We think that it is very important to design places of experience where restaurant users can feel special, motivate with brand and add to their social life.

We do this by addressing the brand from A to Z, not only by the interior design, but also by providing corporate identity, plates, and logos with reference to each other and speaking the same language.

You have realized a very successful and successful interior design with the projects of Kolektif House Levent and Maslak, which set an example for the shared office system that has just started to form in our country. Can you tell us about the design process? What did you pay attention to?

Generation Y is a generation that requires common areas, does not want to work long hours indoors, and wants a more mobile, flexible and mobile working environment. One of the Collective House Levent of starting a new shared office concept to occur in Turkey. We have created a design language that fits this powerful idea.

According to the 2008 Workplace Survey conducted by Gensler with 900 full-time office workers, the employees of companies with increasing success have focused on 28% of their day in the office, 27% working together, 27% learning and 23% socializing. spends with. The new Collective House campus in Maslak also features flexible spaces for both socializing and working together.

While the common areas are designed to be transformed according to need, the furniture specially designed and produced by Kontra Architecture provides customizable spaces.

Thus, it is aimed to create a shared office environment that places its users in the center and takes into account the different needs of each user. For example, by arranging meeting spaces so that office users have different experiences in different concepts, we have created common areas where one can both breathe, socialize and work with his labtop. In this way, we have provided a mobile working system, providing the user with areas to move, just as they desire.

For your indoor projects, your product designs are designed separately. Do you have a goal to progress in furniture design as a counter?
Kontra has a unique design language, so instead of using ready-made products in our projects, we prefer to design products that reflect that place. So far we have created a collection of 30 pieces, from chairs to lighting designs. Of course we are not industrial designers, but we have a goal to advance in this field. Now our products are sold to 1st dibs te worldwide.

Finally, can you tell us about your current projects?
We are currently developing a new project for a bank that I cannot name.
Riyahta Morini restaurant project and a few projects we are running.
We have Lokma and a new food chain projects in Rumelihisarı.