Reading Time: 4 min | Mar 2023

Share on:


Karaca tableware joins sponsors for iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD

We are happy and proud to welcome a new sponsor in the iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD: Karaca from Turkey is specialized in fine tableware, loved by people around the globe. We talked to Karaca's product design manager Engin Akbaba about the company's motivation to support young talents.

Every year, we call for ideas and concepts to be submitted in the iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD! In this design competition, students and graduates have the chance to win prize money of EUR 50,000 in total per year - thanks to our sponsors! The winners of the iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD 2023 will celebrate their success in Istanbul, Türkey!

Happily, our new sponsor is also from Istanbul: Karaca is known for its fine tableware, tea sets and cooking supply. Next to GROHE, CompalSamsung Electronics, NetDragon, Three Winged Bird or WONDERLAND, Karaca is another high-profile sponsor to support our young design talents.

Engin Akbaba, Product Design Manager, Karaca
"At this point, as a brand, we are proud to stand side by side with young people who have facility with researching, develop products, have a global perspective, and produce bold ideas."

iF: Why does Karaca support young talents in the iF DESIGN STUDENT AWARD? What is the motivation?

Engin Akbaba: As Karaca Group, we continue our efforts to increase our impact in the global market with our innovative perspective and exclusively designed products by adding value to the sector with our 11 brands. While we successfully bring products with both functional properties and high design power to the sector, we think that our most important resource at this point is young talents. With our studies and collaborations, we invest not only in the sector, but also in our country, our youth and therefore our future.

iF: What do you look for in designs? What is a good design for Karaca?

EA: Since Karaca design team interacts with consumers of all age groups enjoying their time at home, we design value-added kitchen and tableware products that people will enjoy sharing with others. From that perspective our perception is that the kitchen and tableware products, which are also our area of interest, are in an important area where sustainability approach can be adopted by a wide consumer groups. We attach importance to designing a significant portion of our product range with sustainable principles (material footprint, durability, recyclability). We want to develop our designs in such a way that innovations are gradually incorporated into skills and know-how, supporting cultural heritage and diversity to accommodate complex repertoires. We prioritize holding the use of natural resources at the minimum level in the production of our products and the recyclability of the products at the end of their life cycle.

Karaca's winning design in the iF DESIGN AWARD

Everest Cutlery


Cubique Porcellain Collection


Plateau Tableware


iF: Karaca’s tableware combines tradition and modern design. How does the company and especially design of products profit from young designers and are there certain programs for young professionals at Karaca?

EA: As Karaca, we care about the historical and cultural values of our country and frequently include them in our collections. We make sure that our products are design-oriented and innovative, and we closely follow the changes and trends in the world. At this point, as a brand, we are proud to stand side by side with young people who have facility with researching, develop products, have a global perspective, and produce bold ideas. Therefore, at Karaca, we have project collaborations with universities, consultancy and short/long-term internship programs for young professionals.

iF: Winning an award at such a young stage in your career, can be highly motivating for young talents! How can young designers profit the most from winning awards? How to use it the best for your career?

EA: Design competitions such as IF Design motivate the young population of our country according to their interests and improve their perception of design and innovation. These competitions provide students with financial contributions and opportunities such as experience, learning on the job and studying abroad.

Engin Akbaba on sustainability
"Recently we launched new concept stores that take sustainability as the main principle. These stores, which we call Container Stores, aim to reduce environmental impact in many areas from design to product delivery."

iF: The Sustainable Development Goals by the UN are at the core of the whole iF DSA competition every year. What role does sustainability play at Karaca?

EA: Considering the current state of our world, we see sustainability as a corporate obligation rather than a social responsibility. Therefore, as a brand, we aim for our products to be aesthetic, ergonomic, usable and accessible. We know that economic growth becomes sustainable only when we follow an environmentally friendly path. In the long run, it benefits the company as well as all stakeholders outside the company. With traditional production methods, our natural resources are used as the primary raw material, and a high amount of waste is generated by not recycling the product at the final stage. As a result, close to 2 billion tons of waste is produced annually in the world with increasing consumption. As a result of all these economic activities, carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly increasing in the atmosphere. This increase leads to a rapid warming of the earth. For this reason, we continue our work by moving away from traditional production methods and adopting the circular economy method, which uses end-of-life products as resources, not nature itself. For example, recently we launched new concept stores that take sustainability as the main principle. These stores, which we call Container Stores, aim to reduce environmental impact in many areas from design to product delivery. Our Container Stores, which are operational in Paris, Ankara, Izmir and Samsun, use recycled metal, pallets, furniture and materials during the construction phase.

iF: What is your advice to young aspiring design talents and why should young people participate in the iF DSA?

EA: A tough competition awaits all national and international brands in the upcoming periods. It will be a period in which alternative products are abundant, easily accessible, every brand is in close relationship with the consumer and the service is personalized. In this challenging period, it will be more important than ever to make a difference, to make good use of the process by always being one step ahead, and to improve oneself in every sense.

I think that the evaluation of the participants' design approaches for the future by international and specialized jury members and the awarding of the successful concepts will be an important step in the careers of the students and will enable them to open up to today's professional world.

iF DESIGN STUDEN AWARD 2023 Sponsor - Karaca

Who is Karaca?

With its eleven brands (Karaca, Karaca Home, Emsan, Jumbo and Cook Plus, Kashmir Carpet, Homend, Nautica Home, Weimar Porzellan, Pera Bulvarı, Cooklife) and nearly 3,500 employees, the Karaca Group conducts operations in 305 stores and over 2,000 sales points in 43 countries. Founded in 1973, Karaca, under its own brand name, brings together 28,000 products in 140 categories, from dinnerware to small household appliances. In sum, Karaca has been honored with three iF DESIGN AWARDS.

More iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE Winner Stories

Safari Doctors - Securing Healthcare for Marginalized Communities in Remote Areas

WEYE Clean Energy: With Briquettes Made From Organic Waste to a Successful Entrepreneurship

iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE Winner Success Story: MyMizu is Japan's first Free Water Refill App