Turkey's first large scale independent makerspace, ATÖLYE, was founded by Engin Ayaz and Kerem Alper in 2013. Dr. Uli Barnhoefer joined as third founding partner in early 2014. ATÖLYE’s mission is to enhance the creative ecosystem in Istanbul and beyond. 

Turkey's first large scale independent makerspace, ATÖLYE, was founded by Engin Ayaz and Kerem Alper in 2013. Dr. Uli Barnhoefer joined as third founding partner in early 2014. ATÖLYE’s mission is to enhance the creative ecosystem in Istanbul and beyond. As a spatial and networked platform for interdisciplinary work, ATÖLYE empowers individuals to be innovators, and facilitates and supports creation of projects that add value to society at all scales. 


Global Context

The design and development a shared economy model for co-learning and co-creation has become a global pattern.

Hackerspaces and co-working spaces are growing exponentially, FabLabs are spreading amongst educational and cultural institutions of all types, large businesses are opening up “labs” to allow for playful experimentation, and governments are seeking for ways to enable sustained innovation across industries.

These developments are supported by converging trends such as digital fabrication, mass customization, open-source guidelines, crowd-sourcing, the generation flux, and design as a key driver.  

Local Context

Istanbul is currently amidst a transformation with the steadily developing economy, rise in both supply of and demand for the arts, increasing tourist numbers, and a young population eager for new ideas. The city’s history is rich with both traditional craftsmanship methods as well as heavy industrial activity in the urban periphery.

Meanwhile, hardware and fabrication resources are currently dispersed, with no convenient hub for rapid prototyping. Furthermore, emerging young design talent is locked into stable jobs that does not leave them too much creativity. The industry and craftsmanship heritage in Istanbul is not sufficiently appreciated and exploited in the context of art and design.