Interview with Koray Malhan, Brand Director of Koleksiyon Contract & Office
Koray Malhan attended the Industrial Design Department at Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul and later completed a degree in furniture design at the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in London in 1995. He has held many different positions at Koleksiyon, a Turkish designer and manufacturer of furniture, and has been managing the entire product portfolio of the brand as a Brand Director since 2008. In addition to creating his own designs, he works closely with Koleksiyon's partners from international design studios to ensure a consistent approach is taken to product design and development. At the upcoming Turkish-German Innovation Summit in Istanbul, the Global Success Club is proud to welcome Koray Malhan as a participator. He was kind enough to speak with us at the GSC to give our readers some insights into the company´s ideas and strategy towards a successful future in the wake of the new industrial revolution.
GSC: Looking over the company history page on the website, it can be seen that the company has always been very determined to stay up to date with technological changes in the world, for example incorporating automated production lines back in 2011. Now the manufacturing industry stands on the edge of a new revolution, Industry 4.0, so can you tell us what Koleksiyon plans to do these days in the face of this new revolution?
Mr. Malhan: As Koleksiyon we envision this near future in a completely new terminology. We believe the lexicon of the industrial language has to transform not only the machines as instruments of production. We want to argue the sociological implications of the information society and its changing modes of production and consumption. In this respect the position of the user and the producer are all redefined. We are concentrating on how much a customer be part of the planning and shaping of a production process. The way they can really shape and alter the end product thanks to a real innovative process of planning and production. To create such a future we work with universities, anthropologists, sociologist and urban planners to foresee the coming era, as well work on a new system of production design with our engineers, to work on the new machine system comes after all these main principle decisions.
GSC: After so many years in business, Koleksiyon continues to innovate and come up with new award winning designs, as evident on its awards page on the website. Can you please tell us how the company has been able to remain so innovative over the years?
Mr. Malhan: I am the art director and Chief Design Officer for Koleksiyon and spend most of my time working on theories, on linguistics, semiology, music and architecture and urban planning with regards to society. These theories are all propositions for a possible future, but none is a guarantee. I like this fact that it is a question rather than a definitive fact based model. With all these studies I am running design projects with more than 30 studios worldwide to develop new concepts and designs every day, this leads to a portfolio that is run innovatively with a rich palette from different parts and cultures around the world.
GSC: Koleksiyon originally started in a small metal workshop in Ankara, but now has expanded globally with stores all over the world. At the Global Success Club, many of our members who run SMEs like Koleksiyon also have the desire to expand their business internationally. What advice would you give to other SMEs who are now in the process of looking to move out into the world?
Mr. Malhan: The first and most important question is why? Do we really need a new product? For whom it is good for? Is it good for us, for our planet and for our children? Without a real reason with content, a big industry with high capacity is not a blessing but a curse. Therefore we think design and humanitarian and universal values are the perfect guide for any company to make business. This way people wish to join your organization and be part of it from different parts of the globe. Our operations are growing with this thinking and methodology, and we have our showrooms around the world; in New York, Chicago, Dallas, London, Düsseldorf, and now through great dealers in Paris, Montpellier, Lyon, Brussels, Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Warsaw, Moscow, Jerusalem, etc.
GSC: Your company recently became a partner of Global Success Club's upcoming 2. Turkish-German Innovation Summit in Istanbul. Could you please tell us how important you think it is that Turkish and German manufacturing companies come together at Summits like this to exchange experiences and ideas?
Mr. Malhan: We believe in sharing ideas and experience that this is a great method to bring progress into any activity as well business. We have workshops, ateliers, meetings, seminars to come together with different groups of businesses to discuss our ideas and methods and experiences. Also we have set up a design foundation; our income goes to developing the culture of design and culture of making, throughout history. This foundation aims to share and grow ideas in a socially interactive way through academic life and with SME's who wish to come closer to design. As well we imagine there will be a lot to discuss in the Turkish-German Innovation summit as a platform of new ideas and also networking for a better future of a business life which has other dimensions than that of only financial outputs.
GSC: Mr. Malhan, thank you for sharing this interesting information with us and our readers!