CIF Dialogues

Contemporary Istanbul Art, Culture & Education Foundation (CIACEF) was founded in 2018 to support the development of contemporary art and contemporary culture through educational programmes and to present crucial examples of contemporary art, new initiatives, new trends and cultural developments to art lovers in Istanbul. Besides introducing Turkish contemporary art and culture to the World, the foundation also aims to position Istanbul as one of the important centers of international art and culture.

CIF Dialogues, the first event of CIACEF, will take place on September 18, 2018. For the past 6 years, CIF Dialogues took place at Contemporary Istanbul fairground with the participation of art professionals, museum & gallery directors, artists, curators as speakers.

The upcoming edition will take place at a separate venue from Contemporary Istanbul. The main theme for the 2018 edition is Sensibilities; which is aimed to allow participants to discover one’s ability to appreciate and understand his/her surrounding while empathizing throughout the process of interpreting different disciplines of art. The individual session topics will be closely linked with notions of art, architecture & spaces, technology, innovation, design & heritage and culture. CIF Dialogues will again create a platform where participants and speakers can exchange ideas and experiences.

Limited space availability, reserve your spot today.

100% of the donations for CIF Dialogues will go to CIACEF.

Programme

Speakers

Game Changers

Eglantina Zingg

Eglantina Zingg

Game-Changers

Social entrepreneur Eglantina Zingg is the founder of Proyecto Paz. A true trailblazer, she took advantage of her fame as a model, actress, and TV Host to launch game-changer initiatives such as Goleadoras, an innovative model that empower girls through soccer across the continent. Zingg, leads the institutional and fundraising alliances of the organization with Fortune 500 companies, multilateral organizations and some of the leading philanthropists and political leaders in the world. Eglantina is continuously commissioned by the United Nations as an Agent of Peace. She was born in Venezuela, raised in the Amazon and lives in New York City.

Prof. Mehmet Toner

Prof. Mehmet Toner

Game-Changers

Dr. Mehmet Toner is the Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Dr. Toner co-established the Center for Engineering in Medicine, and BioMicroElectroMechanical Systems Resource Center (BMRC) at the MGH.  He is the Director of Research at the Shriners Hospital for Children Boston. Dr. Toner received BS degree from Istanbul Technical University and MS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both in Mechanical Engineering. Subsequently he completed his PhD degree in Medical Engineering at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in 1989. Since that time he has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. His research interests include microfluidics, micro- and nano-technology, low temperature biology, and tissue engineering. In 1998, Dr Toner was selected to become a “Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.”  In 2007, he became a “Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.” In 2012, he was selected to become a “Fellow of the Society for Cryobiology.” In 2013, he received the “H.R. Lissner Medal” from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. He is elected to the Turkish Academy of Science (2018), U.S. National Academy of Inventors (2016), and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (2017).

Kim Polman

Kim Polman

Game-Changers

Kim Polman was born in the United States but considers herself a citizen of the world whilst she currently resides in London, UK. She has been an environmentalist for many decades. The Golden Rule has always been important to her, which is why she co-authored the first book called Imaginal Cells – Visions of Transformation, a collection of essays from thought leaders and change agents and established Reboot the Future Foundation. The book collectively addresses the most pressing issues of our time, embracing the Golden Rule as the starting point, and offering a roadmap for humanity. Kim also oversees a charity dedicated to literacy for the blind and the visually impaired in east Africa supporting children to achieve higher job placements and to improve their ability to integrate. Kim enjoys playing cello as well as organising concerts. With her husband Paul, Kim has raised three sons.

Princess Martha Louise of Norway

Princess Martha Louise of Norway

Game-Changers

Princess Märtha Louise was born into the Norwegian Royal Family. Being in the public eye for so many years has been challenging yet enlightening and has molded her into the person she is today. In addition to her current official duties as ambassador for the disabled in Norway, Princess Märtha Louise has been a clairvoyant all her life and studied to become a physiotherapist and a Rosen Method Practitioner.

She has hosted a number of TV shows and has been an equestrian on the Norwegian National Showjumping Team, as well as writing books for children.

Today Princess Märtha Louise runs a spiritual center called Soulspring and has together with her business partner authored several bestseller books.

In 2018 Princess Märtha Louise launched her own YouTube channel. The project is called Hest360, and is all about horses

Princess Märtha Louise is a renowned speaker conduct workshops and give inspirational talks worldwide.

Princess Märtha Louise lives outside Oslo with her three children and a dog.

Nizam Uddin

Nizam Uddin

Game-Changers

Nizam Uddin is the Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration at The Prince’s Trust where he leads on the organisation’s community engagement and cohesion activities whilst also overseeing the Mosaic Initiative, founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007. Nizam has worked for the University of London International Programmes; was an auditor for the U.K. Higher Education regulatory body – the Quality Assurance Agency; and was previously the elected President of the University of London Students’ Union. Nizam has a strong interest and background in social mobility, particularly in addressing the challenges and obstacles preventing young people from fulfilling their potential. Nizam is Chairman of the Board of Directors for TabooZapp, an innovative youth-focused digital hub that uses storytelling, empathy and original content to support and promote mental health, self-esteem, well-being and positive outlook in youth. Nizam is also currently a Trustee at SOAS, University of London, a member of the Mayor of London’s Skills for Londoners Stakeholder Advisory Group, and a Governor of Mulberry Academy Shoreditch. He holds an MA in Public Policy from King’s College London.

Ahu Büyükkuşoğlu Serter

Ahu Büyükkuşoğlu Serter

Game-Changers

Ahu Buyukkusoglu Serter; serial-entrepreneur, investor and enabler; is considered a thought leader and international speaker on innovation, transportation and mobility solutions, business strategy, art and women-led entrepreneurship. She is the President of Fark Holding, a Turkish Fortune 500 company, a conglomerate comprised of automotive, appliance, tourism and real estate ventures.

Committed to being a part of bigger solution and recognizing the need that here is more to transportation industry, than just manufacturing cars and car parts, she founded F+ Ventures, a venture fund, investing in start-ups for disruptive innovation in the field of smart transportation, especially in companies that combine automotive, electronics and software competences for more sustainable mobility alternatives.

As a female entrepreneur and investor in a challenging region and mother of 3 daughters, she felt that female potential is greatly overlooked and believes investment in women will provide one of the highest returning alternatives of the next decade. She founded ARYA Women Investment Platform where she brings successful women investors and father of girls to invest in ambitious female entrepreneurs.

With more than 35 investments, she is considered one of the top angel investors of Turkey and has been ranked in Turkey’s Fortune top 50 women as well as awarded the 2016 Enterprising Woman of the Year Award in the US over $100M category. Recently she has been awarded the “Best Women Business Angel of the Year 2018″ by LEAN in EU Business Woman Angels Community.


Art World, Culture & Dialogue: What Does Art Mean to You?

Philippe Van Cauteren

Philippe Van Cauteren

Art World, Culture & Dialogue: What Does Art Mean to You?

Philippe Van Cauteren is artistic director of S.M.A.K. (Museum for Contemporary Art) in Ghent, Belgium.  Since 2004 he is directing the museum towards its further developments in accordance to the necessities and needs of a contemporary art museum.  Under his guidance the exhibition program mainly concentrates on major monographical exhibitions : Lois Weinberger (2006), Kendell Geers (2007), Paul McCarthy (2008), Mark Manders (2009), Dara Birnbaum (2009), Koen van den Broek (2010), Jorge Macchi (2011), Nedko Solakov (2012), Joachim Koester (2012), Maria Nordman (2013), Javier Tellez (2013), Richard Jackson, (2014), Thomas Ruff (2014), Lili Dujourie (2015), Nairy Baghramian (2016), Gerhard Richter (2017), Hiwa K (2018). At the 55th edition of the Biennale di Venezia / Pavilion of Belgium, he was co-curator of the exhibition Kreupelhout – Cripplewood by Berlinde De Bruyckere, who also had a retrospective in S.M.A.K. in 2014. In 2015, Philippe Van Cauteren has been appointed by the RUYA Foundation to curate the Pavilion of Iraq at the 56th edition of the Biennale di Venezia. At the invitation of the Siddhartha Arts Foundation, he curated a major exhibition, titled My City, My Studio / My City, My Life for the Kathmandu Triennale 2017.

His particular interest in art in public sphere was among others exemplified by the international exhibition TRACK (2012) in the city of Ghent, co-signed with Mirjam Varadinis (curator at Kunsthaus, Zürich).

In the past Philippe Van Cauteren has been working as a free-lance curator and publicist in Germany, Mexico, Chile and Brazil. It is in the city of Fortaleza (Brazil) that he was the curator of the first Biennal Ceara America’ (2002).  In 2017 Philippe Van Cauteren published a selection of his texts in the book ‘Letters to Artists.

Michael Benson

Michael Benson

Art World, Culture & Dialogue: What Does Art Mean to You?

Michael Benson is co-Founder with Fariba Farshad of Candlestar, a company that specialises in the creation and development of major new international cultural initiatives including the Conde Nast College, Gulf Art Fair (now Art Dubai) and the Prix Pictet. In 2015 Candlestar inaugurated the first edition of Photo London. In the four since Photo London established itself a key event in the international art world calendar.

Michael Benson’s career in education and the arts spans over 20 years. He is an award-winning writer and a film producer – his videos with Gustav Metzger and John Berger were released in 2003 and 2004 respectively. For ten years he worked at the London Institute, now the University of the Arts in London, where he was responsible for developing the London Institute Gallery where he built an exhibition programme showcasing the work of outstanding students alongside leading contemporary artists, designers and photographers.

Prof. Hasan Bülent Kahraman

Prof. Hasan Bülent Kahraman

Art World, Culture & Dialogue: What Does Art Mean to You?

Hasan Bulent Kahraman is the President of Netkent University, professor of political science and contemporary art theories, and a free-lance curator and art critic as well as a prominent public intellectual. Has contributed to the most distinguished dailies and weeklies in Turkey for the last 30 years.

Holding a BA degree in Civil Engineering, and MA degrees in economics and art philosophy, he received his Ph.D. from Bilkent University. He lectured and held administrative chairs at Bilkent, Sabancı, Kadir Has, Michigan, Columbia, NYU and Princeton University.

Kahraman worked as the Chief Advisor to the Minister of Culture. Working also as a curator and critic he is now sitting at the Executive Board of Sabanci Museum, Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair and works as the Member of the Advisory Board at Akbank Arts Center, Director and Curator of Gallery KHAS. He is also the Chief Curator of Abdullah Gul Presidential Library and Museum. He is also sitting on the boards of various universities.

Writing extensively about art theory and cultural theory, Turkish politics, political theory, he has around twenty books. He has a TV program called ‘Bildiğiniz Gibi Değil’ at NTV.

He is a member at MESA, CAA, APSA.

Hakan Çarmıklı

Hakan Çarmıklı

Art World, Culture & Dialogue: What Does Art Mean to You?
Charlotte Eyerman

Charlotte Eyerman

Art World, Culture & Dialogue: What Does Art Mean to You?

Charlotte Eyerman serves as Director and Chief Curator of the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection in New York City. She brings over 20 years of experience and leadership in museums, the private and nonprofit sectors, and academia. A specialist in modern and contemporary art, with a significant exhibition and publication record, her expertise is in building collections, developing exhibitions, and forging relationships with artists, collectors, museums, and the trade nationally and internationally.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase in November 2017, Charlotte served in several prominent roles within the art world, including Director and CEO of the Monterey Museum of Art (2013-2016), Director of the French American Museum Exchange in North America (2010-2013) and Director at Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills (2009-2010). She has also held curatorial positions at the Saint Louis Art Museum as Curator and Department Head of Modern and Contemporary Art (2006-2009) and the J. Paul Getty Museum as Assistant Curator of Paintings (2002-2006).

Dr. Eyerman earned Doctoral and Master’s degrees in the History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a B.A. in English from the College of the Holy Cross and completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Charlotte has lived and worked in France, Germany, and Italy and has been honored as Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (2014).


Art, Architecture & Spaces

Anissa Touati

Anissa Touati

Art, Architecture & Spaces

Anissa Touati b. 1981 is an exhibition maker, an explorer curator. As a trained archaeologist born between Western and Middle Eastern cultures, she thinks of the Land as a country and the countries as regions. Seeking to make connections between these territories, she invests herself culturally by traveling without stopping, visiting the studios and by individually committing to each artist’s story. Touati envisions her exhibitions as an intimate performance. Each of them are tied to an own experience, usually reflecting a geographical and an identity exploration. These evoke nomadism, archaic memories, beyond social, sexual or cultural determinisms, involving the fictionalization of oneself.

Touati is Chalet Society’s co-director based between Mexico and France and has curated independently several exhibitions around the world, among her recent exhibitions are: ¿Cómo te voy a olvidar? at Galerie Perrotin (Paris), Coordenadas a solo show of Jesper Just at Anahuacalli Museum (Mexico) and Made by 4 hands which she coordinated for OMR Gallery (Mexico).

Melkan Gürsel

Melkan Gürsel

Art, Architecture & Spaces

(Int’l. Assoc. AIA) studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University. Following her graduation in 1993, she attended Polytechnic University of Metropolitan Catalonia for her Master of Architecture. She is the partner of Tabanlıoğlu Architects where percentage of women architects rises to almost 60%. Melkan gives lectures at various national and international platforms and serves as jury member at several programs, one of her contributions being RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education. She has co-curated an exhibition at London Design Festival 2015 with French artist Arik Levy. Besides many other awards, Melkan has been selected as one of the “Europe 40 under 40” for 2008 and as “Fifty under Fifty: Innovators of the 21st Century”, in 2015. In 2010, together with Murat Tabanlıoğlu, Melkan selected as “Architect of the Year” by Big Project Middle East Awards.

Alexander Schwarz

Alexander Schwarz

Art, Architecture & Spaces

Alexander Schwarz studied architecture at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich, the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart and the Universität Stuttgart, after completing an education in violin making. He has worked for David Chipperfield Architects since 1996, initially in London and since 1998 in Berlin. In 2006 Alexander became a managing director and in 2011 a partner in the Berlin office. As design director, he is responsible for the design of numerous projects and competitions, including the Neues Museum and the James Simon Galerie on Berlin’s Museum Island, the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach and the Museum Folkwang in Essen. Through his academic commitments, Alexander furthermore combines the practice of architecture and research with teaching. In 2015 he assumed the professorship for ‘Public Building and Design’ at the Universität Stuttgart.

Melisa Pezuk

Melisa Pezuk

Art, Architecture & Spaces

With over 15 years of successful background in real estate development, project management, architectural design and master planning. Recognized as a hands-on, pro active team leader who can rapidly identify problems, think out of the box, initiate change and implement new ideas in challenging and diverse environments. Currently holding the position of Vice President which is in charge with multi-billion dollar projects for DIFC Unbuilt-plots and management of DIFC’s Masterplan of 25M sqft GFA including the third party developers. Also involves in new Projects which are prestigious mix use high-rise towers including hotels, commercial, residential and retail components which are total over 3M sgft GFA, Residential Tower, Commercial Building for Gate Village
and Entertainment Hub. Developed and built multi-billion dollar projects including leading 3 word class Museums namely Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island which were completed successfully. Moreover, tender and construction of 60 Villa Resorts that are operated by Anantara, as well as Conference Center, Watersports Center and Tourism Visitor Experience Center Projects as part of Sir Bani Yas Island development to create a unique eco wildlife resort destination.

Frida Escobedo

Frida Escobedo

Art, Architecture & Spaces

Frida Escobedo is an architect and designer based in Mexico City. Her work focuses largely on the reactivation of urban spaces that are considered to be residual or forgotten, through projects that range from housing and community centers, to hotels, galleries, and public art installations. In addition to her practice, Frida Escobedo has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is the recipient of the 2016 Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Award, the 2017 Architectural League Emerging Voices Award, and in 2018 was selected to design the 18th Serpentine Summer Pavilion in London.

Prof. Suha Özkan

Prof. Suha Özkan

Art, Architecture & Spaces

Prof. Suha Ozkan (b. 1945, Ankara) is an architect, architectural critic and a lecturer. He had senior-level positions in many architectural institutions especially in Aga Khan Awards Headquarters. He obtained his architecture degree from Middle Eastern Technical University (METU) at 1967. He became a professor, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and in 1979 he was appointed as the Vice President of theuniversity.

He has served in various national and international architectural competitions such as Aga Khan Awards. He served in executive positions for Aga Khan Awards from 1982 to 2007 and was worked as the Deputy Secretary General of the AgaKhan Award for Architecture from 1990 to 2006.

He is the first and only Turkish Honorary Fellow of American Institute of Architects (2004). He was the president of the International Union of Architects Congress between 2001 and 2005, and served as a Congress Member between 2002-2008.


Tech & Innovation

Güvenç Özel

Güvenç Özel

Tech & Innovation

A native of İzmir, Güvenç Özel is an architect, artist and technologist and he is the Technology Director of UCLA  Architecture Faculty’s IDEAS graduate programme and the founder of OzelOffie. His research focuses on technology, form, construction technique, media and their effect on the city culture.After graduating high school from Robert College he completed his art and philosophy degree in Bennington College and graduated Yale University’s Architecture programme with honors. Before establishing his office he has work with Rafael Vinoly (New York), Jürgen Mayer H. (Berlin) ve Frank Gehry (Los Angeles). His projects have been exhibited in various museums and galleries such as Saatchi Gallery London, Bauhaus Dessau and İstanbul Modern. His recent Works have been featured by  CNN, BBC, Los Angeles Times, The Independent, Huffington Post, Wired, Boston Globe, Designboom, Gizmodo, Dwell and many others. In UCLA’s recearch laboratory he has been working on adapting artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and sensor Technologies in architecture.

Nicole Junkermann

Nicole Junkermann

Tech & Innovation

Nicole Junkermann is a London-based entrepreneur and investor who has previously raised her own private equity fund. She is guided by her belief in the value of authenticity and views the entrepreneur’s journey as a marathon, not a sprint. She also believes that one of the most exciting spaces today is where old and new connect. Through NJF Capital, Nicole supports transformative entrepreneurs who want to define and disrupt new and existing industries. Her portfolio includes Owkin, Revolut, Sentient, Blockchain and Carbyne. Songza, Dollar Shave Club and RelatelQ, three early investments, were acquired by Google, Unilever and Salesforce, respectively. She serves on Shanghai Really Sports’ board, China’s third largest sports retailer.

Sherry Dobbin

Sherry Dobbin

Tech & Innovation

Sherry Dobbin Cultural Director for Futurecity,  is an experienced cultural strategist, arts institutional Director and creative producer. Her current Futurecity portfolio includes projects in Sydney, Melbourne, Boston, Greater London and steering the Future/Pace initiative. She was Founding Director of Times Square Arts, inclusive of establishing Midnight Moment, the largest and longest running global digital art exhibition; Director of Robert Wilson’s The Watermill Center; ten years freelance opera; and arts administrator for a breadth of art institutions, including Wysing Arts, Boston Ballet, WGBH-TV, Huntingdon Theatre Company. Recently she has consulted for Team London Bridge, GLA and Victoria & Albert Museum about the role of programming in civic space.

İsmail Hakkı Polat

İsmail Hakkı Polat

Tech & Innovation

Ismail Hakki Polat graduated from Middle East Technical University Electrical & Electronics Engineering Department in 1989. Along his professional carrier, he mainly worked in the global leading companies of telecommunications industry such as Siemens, Nortel, Ericsson and Turkcell in different positions ranging from engineering to executive management.

Since 2004, he has been lecturing on New Media at Kadir Has University as well as setting up the new media services of local media conglomerates such as Dogan Holding, Merkez Broadcasting & Publishing Group and Ciner Media Group as an active consultant. He also works for BBC Media Action as a freelance consultant during the preparation of New Media Journalism Curriculum in Baku Slavic and Baku State Universities.

Polat is the founder of the first New Media University Department as well as the Founding President of The Digital Transformation Association in Turkey further to his course module authorship for Mobile Journalism at Open School of Journalism in NYC. He has a column in Bloomberg Business Week Turkiye where he shares his opinions on new media, digital transformation and cryptocurrencies on a weekly basis.

Tolga Ulutaş

Tolga Ulutaş

Tolga Ulutaş joined Akbank in September 2016 as Executive Vice President in charge of Direct Banking. Before joining Akbank he, as a managing partner of global consulting companies experienced in technology and business strategy area, led digital transformation projects in different geographies for leader companies in their area. Tolga Ulutaş is an influential transformation leader with its expertise in technology and business model transformation required for digital transformation. He has worked on cross industry interaction of technological improvement with his former experience on different industries like telecommunication, retail and financial services . Before joining Akbank, he was a country managing director of Accenture Turkey, received his bachelor degree at İTÜ and his MBA degree at San Diego State University.


Design & Heritage

Defne Koz

Defne Koz

Design & Heritage

Defne Koz is co-founder, partner of Koz+Susani Design, an award winner, innovative studio based in Chicago, with Marco Susani, where she designs iconic, emotionally engaging, innovative award winning products and experiences.

Their designs span from domestic objects to high-tech devices, from hi-touch materials to interaction design, from luxury crafts to mass-manufactured products, always focusing on hi-quality design that embraces vision and innovation while preserving human, emotional qualities.

Their clients include Alessi, Allstate, Arcelik, Avsar, Bernhardt, Burotime, Crate & Barrel, Derin, Delta, Dove/Unilever, Egizia, ENEL, FontanaArte, Foscarini, Gaia&Gino, Italamp, Leucos, Lipton/Unilever, MPD, Mitterteich 1400º, Megaron, Merati, Nissan, Nestle, Nude, Nurus, OmniDecor, Panasonic, Pinar, Pirelli, Rapsel, Samet, Swarovski, Swissotel, TunaOffice, Verreum, Vitra, WMF, Xerox. Defne Koz was born in Turkey and raised professionally in Italy,

After having studied at Domus Academy – Milan, her idea of design is influenced by her training in Ettore Sottsass’ studio by the combination of her Turkish and Italian culture and by her curiosity for very different product types.

Her interests span from humanizing new technologies to rediscovering the tradition of hand made products. Common to all her projects are her distinctive design language and the research on the sensorial qualities of materials. Her designs were awarded several times by international awards, among them ‘Gold Award’ by Neocon, IDA Bronze Award, Innovation Design Award German Design Council, IF Design Award, Red Dot Design Award, ADI Index Compasso d’Oro, Good Design Award, ID Design Magazine, EDIDA International Awards, Designer of the Elle Deco International Design Awards, Elle Décor Award. She has been member of the board of the Art and Design Advisory Board of Akbank and was member of the Board of the Istanbul Design Biennale 2012. She has been Trend Board Member at IMM KoelnMesse.

William Gilchrist

William Gilchrist

Design & Heritage

William Gilchrist is a London-based stylist. He has held numerous positions ranging from Fashion Editor for Arena Magazine to Art/Fashion Director of Sportswear International, JACK magazine, and Details Magazine. He has contributed to GQ, O Man, GQ Style and L’Uomo Vogue and consulted for numerous brands such as Versace, Moschino, McQueen Menswear, Giorgio Armani, Dunhill, and Belstaff. Gilchrist has worked with celebrity clients including Jude Law, Benicio de Toro, and Gerard Butler and is known for having dressed members of The Rolling Stones for numerous world tours throughout the years.

Kristina Blahnik

Kristina Blahnik

Design & Heritage

Kristina Blahnik CEO of Manolo Blahnik is a creative and businesswoman. Educated at the prestigious University of Cambridge, Kristina studied Architecture and soon after opened her own practice. Receiving her diploma at the Architectural Association Kristina remains an ARB and RIBA registered Architect It wasn’t until 2009 she joined the family business, with an exceptional eye for detail and her entrepreneurial vision she was appointed CEO in 2013. Kristina closely works with her uncle and mother in expanding and optimising the business of a global scale.

Bünyamin Aydın

Bünyamin Aydın

Design & Heritage

Designer and Photographer Bunyamin Aydin made his name when he was selected as one of the 12 designers to design the future of Air Max during the global ‘Vote Forward’ campaign in Portland for Nike. His brand – a luxury streetwear label under the name Les Benjamins is a world first to emerge out of Turkey onto the global fashion stage.

Born 1989, raised Neuss, Lugano, Istanbul. Aydin grew up to Turkish parents in Germany and in a nomadic way has been on the move since. He graduated high school in Switzerland and pursued academia on three different occasions and disciplines, ranging from International Relations in Geneva to International Business, and later Advertisement in Istanbul. A decision was made to cut studies short to focus on the essential.

With an upbringing surrounded by fabrics, designs, samples, and business while working at his parents’ family company meant learning first-hand through the guidance, expertise, and discipline of those with over 40 years of experience in the fashion industry.

In 2011, Les Benjamins was launched. Initially developing only printed t-shirts, over the years the brand evolved to prominence encompassing both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear presented in Paris and other major fashion capitals. Aydin received Fashion Designer of the Year Award by Esquire for 2018. Among collaborations and partnerships to date include BMW, Besiktas, Hennessy, Nike, Apple, Alpha Industries and BMW.

Aydin has just signed a global collaboration deal with Puma for two collections bound to release worldwide in all Puma select and exclusive concept stores in 2019.

Igor Ramirez

Igor Ramirez

Design & Heritage

Igor Ramírez García-Peralta is the Editor-in- Chief and Founder of Solar, the first independent lifestyle magazine in Spanish with worldwide distribution. He was Editorial Director of Harper’s  Bazaar ART en Español and Art Editor-at-Large for NOWNESS. Igor directed the cultural program of the Faena District in Miami and managed the international projects of the contemporary art foundation Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna. He served as Personal Assistant to Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano and collaborated closely with the Legal Adviser of the Ministry and with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) on cases related to illicit trade, restitution and exchange of cultural property. Igor trained as an actor at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, New York; he has a Masters in Law in Intellectual Property Law by King’s College London and a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Law by the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

About CIACEF

The Contemporary Istanbul Art, Culture and Education Foundation (CIACEF) is dedicated to the promotion and application of contemporary art and culture among artists, collectors and diverse audiences through organizing comprehensive educative workshops, seminars, and classes to improve their skills.

The Foundation will also conduct art-in-residence programmes, exhibitions and other such activities to create a new and fresh platform for contemporary art culture in Istanbul while introducing Turkish contemporary art and culture to the world.

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