2018 marks the fifth anniversary of the Launch Pad at WantedDesign Manhattan. The Launch Pad is a platform for emerging designers who wish to make connections with manufacturers and retailers during NYCxDESIGN, New York’s celebration of global design. Each year, a group of industry professionals reviews the exhibited work to select a Best of Launch Pad prize. Since 2014, the Launch Pad has exhibited over 100 designers from dozens of countries and over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing the stories of some of the designers who have participated in years past and the manufacturers who’ve discovered them.

Born in 1989, Turkish designer Begüm Cana Ozgür graduated from Bilkent University’s Interior Architecture and Environmental Design department. In 2013, she received her masters degree at the Cranbook Academy of Art in the 3D design department and then began her studio based in Istanbul where the cultural richness of the land has been the major motive in her work, developing an interest in ancient craft practices. Here’s a brief conversation with her.

Q: Which year did you present at WantedDesign? Did you make connections with brands and fellow designers?

I attended Launch Pad in 2016. It was a good opportunity to make  connections with press, retailers and other designers. I got connected to Nanimarquina, current editor of my project shown at Launch Pad.

Q: Tell us about your favorite project you’ve worked on since you participated in Launch Pad at WantedDesign.

I am currently working on a new rug collection which excites me the most. This new collection is about creating visual color effects through graphic lines.
Q: How has your work evolved since you shared your work at WantedDesign? Is it now in production? If so, with whom?

One of the projects I present SHADE rug collection is currently in production by the iconic brand Nanimarquina, whom I met during my presentation at WantedDesign 2016. The following year we launched the collection during NYCxDESIGN 2017.

Q: What advice do you have for emerging designers who will be showing at the Launch Pad in 2018 and beyond?

LaunchPad is a great opportunity to show your work to the design community. Be curious of the diverse selection of wok as well as you enjoy being part of it.  As you form relations with companies and press, keep in mind that the surrounding designers could be a great collaborator for future projects!

Q: Where can people learn more about you and your work?

Photo credit: Nanimarquina

As a reminder, the 2018 Launch Pad applications are due January 31, 2018. Apply here. Sponsored by Design Milk and Design Within Reach.