ABOUT: Studio M+ is a NY-based boutique design collective founded in 2010. The firm provides innovative designs for buildings, urban plans, and product and corporate marketing. In 2014, the firm’s mission expanded to include professional event services for creative projects. designME! is a courtesy of Studio M+ in efforts to promote fresh design from the Middle East in New York City. www.studio-m-plus.com #design #designME #NewYorkDesignWeek #Turkey #Lebanon #Iran #MiddleEast @studio_m_plus, @dee118E @NYCxDesign @wanteddesignnyc

Photos courtesy of STUDIO M+ and LUXXELIVING

STUDIO M+ invited guests from the design industry as well as writers for an intimate middle eastern dinner at Antique Garage restaurant.

Mario Elcid, Roya Heidari and Nada Debs

Dee Kayalar & Alihan Polat Studio M+ Founders

Middle Eastern Dinner

On Sunday, May 18th the intimate middle eastern dinner was held at Antique Garage in SoHo. Converted from an old mechanic shop in 2003 by Chef/Owner Utku Cinel, Antique Garage has maintained it’s reputation as one of SoHo’s best kept secrets for over a decade. Their menu embraces a diverse collection of cross-cultural influences spanning the Mediterranean with delicate flavors predominating. The ingredients are responsibly sourced, fresh, organic and prepared with care. Utku’s private collection of antiques offers an eclectic, unique and romantic ambiance, charming and elegant in the tradition of old New York. The evening started with invitee introductions as well as wine and delectable small-plate shared food followed by a traditional middle eastern dinner and live music.

designME! Contemporary Design from the Middle East

dinner and opening reception during WANTED DESIGN Week

Dinner atmosphere

STUDIO M+ showcased for the first time at WantedDesign, designME! The first group exhibition from the Middle East at New York’s Design Week featuring creative products from Turkey, Lebanon, and Iran. WantedDesign was held at the terminal stores at the Tunnel located on 28th Street and 11th Avenue from May 16th - 19th, 2014.


The show was co-curated by Lebanese design tastemaker Roya Heidari and interior designer Sara Bengur. It provides an opportunity to showcase exceptional talent, support cutting edge design trends from Middle East, and promote cross-cultural dialogue. With their inspirational multi-cultural background, curators Bengur and Heidari have creatively combined Eastern and Western elements, working different colors and styles into a surprising and unique balance. Their talented and artistic eyes showed through in the way they blended the audacious colors and patterns of Middle East with modern and sleek Western design aesthetics, thereby shaking up some established conventions about Middle Eastern design and decorations.  


Participating designers included renowned Lebanese designer Nada Debs, one of the finalists of 2013 Jameel Prize (Pebble Table & Resin coasters); Nina Seirafi of Iran, named one of world’s top interior designers by Architectural Digest (3-legged pouf); Erdem Akan known as enfant terrible of the design world in Turkey (Half-Circle Side Table); outstanding emerging talents Ilanit Ovadya (Istavla backgammon game) and Muzz Design (Cobalt Blue tableware); artisan designers Gamze Araz Eskinazi and Yasemin Sayinsoy of CAMEKAN (Love Cups), and Iran’s leading carpet designer Mir Mola Soraya (Hichmago rug).


The exhibition was organized for free by Studio M+, a New York-based boutique design collective to give designers from other countries an opportunity to showcase their talent and interact with the global design community; support generously provided by Turkish Airlines, The Guide Istanbul, Antique Garage Restaurant, Guinea Pig Group Services, 3030 / Karaca Murat Erdem, and Muzz Design Studio with additional support by Republic of Turkey Ministry of Economy, Ozlem Yalım Ozkaraoglu/Ozlem Yalim Etc., Cornucopia Magazine, Mondo Collection, and J’Adore Andy Photography.