ATÖLYE is a 21st-century creative services company that embeds an award-winning Strategic Design Studio and an Academy within a vibrant Creative Hub.
We believe that we are exploring a novel territory. As a transdisciplinary innovation platform, we are not only a creative hub with a real estate business at its core, nor a design consultancy focusing on client work. In our case, the Hub and the Studio form an indispensable, symbiotic whole.
ATÖLYE is an academic spin-off project with ties to Stanford d.school and NYU Tisch ITP. While the former institution provides a design thinking and social impact mindset, the latter offers digital-physical prototyping know-how and a critical maker approach. Over the last four years, we have traversed through an interesting journey which taught us: “Build Community, Space Will Come.”
Situated at the core of our practice, our strategic design studio consists of over 40 strategists and designers geared towards tackling innovation on multiple scales. With a clear intent on transdisciplinarity, we love addressing wicked problems that deal with conflicting paradigms, stakeholder complexity and emergent processes.
As of 2019, ATÖLYE is also a member of the kyu Collective, which comprises strategically curated creative businesses that seek to be a source of creativity, propelling economies and societies forward. Other companies within the kyu Collective include the iconic global design firm IDEO, the transformation consultancy SYPartners, the multi-disciplinary creative brand-building agency Sid Lee, the behavioral economics company BEWorks, and the data-driven media services provider Kepler.
In our approach, we combine strategy with design at three different levels: Organizations, product-service-systems, and platforms. We first engage with organizations at a strategic level, discovering challenges, mapping opportunities, and envisioning a jointly desirable future. We then guide them through their organizational transformation journey, or develop new product service systems. We are fluent with scales and enjoy working across digital, product or architectural design, all of which form holistic human experiences. We also thrive on developing new platforms that combine all of the above. For all projects, we take great care in diligent impact assessment to become a learning organization. We also emphasize strategic communication to contribute to a learning society.
Rooted in Istanbul, we are nourished by the dynamic, if not chaotic, nature of the city, while developing projects at a fast pace and with an adaptive attitude. We see the inherent impatience that surrounds us as an advantage for “getting things done,” whereas an ambitious talent pool helps us take on projects of global scale. On the other hand, we are connected to the world via different creative hub and entrepreneurship networks, with whom we jointly develop projects, participate in exchange programs and focus on being a “glocal” organization in all senses of the word.
More recently, we have been sowing the seeds of a creative community in Dubai, UAE with hopes to build a strong freelancer community and a new client-facing base for our Studio. While the former will serve the kyu network at large, the latter is an inevitable step to deepen ongoing consulting relationships in the region.
Our Strategic Design Studio is surrounded by three components of the Creative Hub: community, event venue and prototyping lab. Our community of 150 individuals and organizations is rigorously curated with clear criteria pertaining to diversity and interaction level as well as being housed under the same roof. This community serves as a backbone for executing projects, catalyzing co-learning through feedback sessions, and enabling serendipitous new collaborations.
Our Prototyping Lab, as part of the global MIT Fab Lab network, fuels a culture of prototyping with a diverse set of tools and workshops. It also enables us to reach out to young and restless minds with residency programs. Our venue allows immersive co-design processes with clients and external stakeholders. It also serves a public-facing front and a channel for critical content creation around design, technology and entrepreneurship.
Looking forward, we are focusing on evolving in a nimble and resilient manner by holding true to our purpose of cultivating a fertile environment that catalyzes individuals and organizations to thrive together for the better—executing high-impact projects that explore the future of working, learning and living together and create long-term value.