Like his home city Istanbul, where thoroughly modern ideas and traditional practices exist side-by-side, Erdem’s philosophy is based on the tension between opposites: fabricated vs. hand-made, tradition vs. avant-garde, craftsmanship vs. technology.

For him, design should balance or amplify this tension. His signature endorsed objects for the Istanbul Modern and MoMa and he is the creator of #EastMeetsWest, where the typical iconic Turkish tea and glass-jars receive an upgrade in function, while the look is gaining an almost Swedish touch, in terms of simplicity.

Erdem blends cultures and disciplines: before design, he studied engineering. Beyond his work for Vitra, Ford, Villery&Boch, Absolut, Nike or Missoni, he is a curator and a lecturer for the finest design academies in New York, Switzerland and Istanbul.

You might have seen this iconic pair of matching water jugs all over the internet. The cups are decorated with a sleeping face, which also work as a stopper in a cute, but classy way. A minimalist jug that should be in any fashionista’s house, with some citrusy iced-tea.

Erdem has been featured in Vogue, Istanbul Modern, MoMa Store, Milano Trienal, Ornementa Les Ateliers de Paris, Istanbul Design Week & Pasabahce Stores.

If interested in checking out more about Erdem Akan and his designs, check out his site here.