Tardu Kuman spent a lot of time thinking about things before he began making them. In college in Istanbul, he studied philosophy—Heraclitus, Nietzsche, Deleuze. Becoming a full-fledged designer happened gradually and took him full-circle from mid-1980s Paris, where he made jewelry, to 1990s Athens, where he made art objects and furniture out of salvaged railroad ties, and finally, in 1995, back to Istanbul to found Stoa Design.
Today, traditional craftsmanship may be suffering locally, but it creates an opportunity for makers like Kuman to practice old methods with a modern touch. He incorporates new forms to show the ability of natural materials, like the hot metal he pours into knots set in wooden tabletops. “In this complicated life, I want to make things simple,” Kuman says. “My work doesn’t belong to a time, a trend, a fashion. It has the weight of honesty.”