Celebrating Diversity

3rd Culture brings the world to your home
As children, brother and sister Zeynep Lale Rende and Emre Rende moved often to different countries because of their parents’ jobs. Known as Third Culture Kids, who feel at home anywhere in the world but not belonging anywhere, their travels inspired them to create a design brand that celebrates the diversity of world craft and culture.  
In 2015, the duo opened the doors of 3rd Culture, an Istanbul-based decoration brand and concept store. It’s tagline, “Inspired by the World, Created in Istanbul” guides their creative process and the different narratives of their products.
“We’ve traveled to almost 90 countries between the two of us so it’s fair to say that the colors, tastes, faces and landscapes from our travels guide our creativity. When we decided to create a design brand, we wanted it to have a unique visual identity, one that celebrated the different cultures and esthetics we had encountered. We wanted to create products that just like us, have complicated conceptions of culture and a brand where products inspired from different parts of the world, co-exist under one roof,” said Emre, 3rd Culture’s co-founder and photographer.
The concept store is located in Istanbul’s historic Çukurcuma neighborhood famous for the product and antiques that have been traded for over 400 years.  Artisans who work with 3rd Culture are within a one mile radius. “We take great pride in working with our neighborhood’s local craftsmen. We work with local tailors, carpenters and upholsterers, most of whom have inherited their profession from their father who inherited it from theirs,” said Emre.
3rd Culture carries home and personal accessories collections that are heavily influenced by East and West African culture. “The cushions, lampshades, pouches and tote bags are handmade in Istanbul using African wax fabrics. Choosing from the diverse world of West African patterns and vibrant colors is at the beginning of the process,” said Emre.

The company then sources all complimentary textiles from the markets in Istanbul. 3rd Culture’s tailor assembles the cushions, pouches and bags. “As for the lampshades we often discuss over tea which fabric will work best when lit. Before we commit to make an entire collection we always make a sample to see the how the translucence works with the fabric and decide on complimentary lamp shades for our current photography and home collections.” The furniture collection is influenced from Emre and Zeynep’s travels to East Africa and Mexico. The process starts with a shape or form that they discover either on the street, a museum or a park. Once an idea materializes, it’s sketched and they meet with their  carpenters to discuss the production and appropriate type of wood to bring the designs to life.

3rd Culture will be exhibiting at NY NOW’s Artisan Resource from August 20-23 at New York City's Jacob Javits Center. “We’ll be showcasing our collection of home and personal accessories made with African fabrics, as well as lighting, small furniture pieces and a selection of portraiture photography. We’ll also be bringing our signature collection of the iphone cases featuring Emre’s street portraiture from around the world. These portraits from parts of the world that are very close to our heart, namely India, West Africa and Central America, are a big part of our brand identity,” said. Zeynep
For more information visit www.3rdcultureproject.com.  Products are available at “H.P Deco” in Tokyo, the “Home Autour Du Monde” concept stores across France, “Saboye” in London and wide range of retailers in Istanbul and Turkey such as Souq and Harvey Nichols. Products for wholesale will soon be available on www.3rdcultureusa.com.


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