Istanbul Design Biennial: The Future Is Not What It Used To Be

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), and curated by Zoë Ryan, the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial will take place between 1 November – 14 December 2014.

ist-bienialThe theme of this year’s edition is “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be”.

Zoë Ryan explains, “The title of this year’s biennial is a quote from the past that seems as pertinent in the present. In a time of rapid change and social and political unrest, it feels increasingly urgent to ask what now? It is a really interesting time to develop a design biennial – an emerging concept in itself - and use it as a platform to ask big questions about design and its relationship to everyday life.” and adds “We are interested in how we reclaim the manifesto for our time - harnessing its power to declare ideas and its ability to frame pertinent questions, while rethinking what a manifesto can be. By rethinking the manifesto, we are interested in highlighting projects that are intended to have outcomes – not only as texts – but open systems, whether actions, services, provocations, objects or buildings. These are the types of projects that will make up the biennial.”

The projects include LEPSIS: The Art of Growing Grasshoppers, by Mansour Ourasanah from San Francisco, which addresses the implications of a growing world population and imminent global food shortage through the cultivation of grasshoppers for human consumption; Alternative Bug Out Bags, kits for short term evacuation after a disaster by Jessica Charlesworth&Tim Parsons from Chicago; Tweeting Architecture: What hath 140 characters wrought!, a visualisation of a dynamic data network from a pool of design related tweets by Istanbul based architects Cansu Cürgen and Eren Tekin; and #occupygezi architecture, by the Istanbul based non-profit organisation Herkes İçin Mimarlık (Architecture for All) which examines what happens when architecture is removed from architects in cases such as the global Occupy protests.

There will also be an opportunity for the visitor to commission a bespoke manifesto from the Italian ABC Manifesto Corporation Writers and Consultants by disturbATICollective; and for reflection and interpretation at The Future Is Not What It Used to Be Reading Room Project, by graphic designers Future Anecdotes Istanbul, which will offer a dynamic social space for reading.

Exhibitions will be presented at the Galata Greek Primary School, which will serve as the biennial hub, and at ‘pop-up’ locations throughout the city. They will cover fields of design, technology, fashion, graphics, urbanism, product design, film and food, with a lively day and evening programme for all ages. A full venue and events programme of the 2ndedition of the Istanbul Design Biennial including the academy programme, Kontraakt’s broadcast channels, workshops, design walks, film screenings, seminars and panels will be announced later in 2014.


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