Opening of The Future Is Not What It Used To Be

Opening of The Future Is Not What It Used To Be

Istanbul Design Biennial

© Ali Güler.

November 1, 2014

The Future Is Not What It Used To Be
2nd Istanbul Design Biennial

1 November–14 December 2014

Curator: Zoë Ryan 
Associate Curator: Meredith Carruthers

The second Istanbul Design Biennial, The Future Is Not What It Used To Be, curated by Zoë Ryan and associate curator Meredith Carruthers, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), has opened to the public. 

Throughout the city and in the biennial hub, the Galata Greek Primary School, until 14 December, the biennial features 53 projects from designers all over the world that ask: “What is the future now?” By rethinking the manifesto as a platform to frame pertinent questions, the projects question the role of design, its relationship to society, and its ability to be an active agent for change. 

The exhibition continues over all five floors of the school, an area of approximately 2,300 square metres. Arranged in five departments—Personal, Norms and Standards, Resource, Civic Relations, and Broadcast—the projects imagine new possibilities that can transform the present and invite new potential futures.

Zoë Ryan says, “Istanbul has a thriving creative community, so it seems an especially appropriate city in which to reflect on the field of design. In an effort to contribute to an already rich dialogue in Turkey and focus on issues urgently affecting daily life, the biennial brings together diverse design ideas from across the world for an emerging set of conditions.” Ryan also adds, “The 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial is envisioned as a conversation starter. It is an occasion to present a range of projects by some of the most inventive practitioners working today, and emphasize the critical role that design plays in identifying points of urgency and posing questions about the objects, buildings, and environments we interact with daily, as well as materializing outcomes.”

In addition to the exhibition, the biennial hub at the Galata Greek Primary School hosts different events for design enthusiasts daily for six weeks: the Kontraakt team’s broadcast programming, which includes a weekly radio show, is held on Tuesdays and throughout the week, Q&A’s and panels on Wednesdays, film screenings on Thursdays, and children and youth programme every day. 

Design Walks, comprised of visits to design studios, stores, manufacturers, and noted buildings in six neighbourhoods and six thematic walks on Istanbul’s Asian and European sides to examine the textures of the city and observe traditional crafts, are organised throughout the biennial. 

The Academy Programme, featuring 72 projects including workshops, exhibitions and panels organised by over 33 universities from Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Europe and the United States to reveal different aspects of the biennial theme, can be viewed at university campuses and at Antrepo 7

Building on themes of dialogue and exchange in the biennial, the Talk to Us Panels & Designers in Dialogue conversations gather together curators, critics and designers to explore new potentials for the design manifesto in the 21st century and ask critical questions about our shared future, now. Details can be found at

The biennial’s exhibition space, catalogue, and visual identity are designed by Istanbul-based SUPERPOOL and Project Projects,New York. 

The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial is co-sponsored by Arçelik, Doğuş Group & Bilgili Holding, ENKA Foundation and VitrA and it is held free of charge

Follow the Istanbul Design Biennial on Facebook and Twitter.

Istanbul Design Biennial
Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
Sadi Konuralp Caddesi No:5
Şişhane 34433
T +90 212 334 07 66 /

International media relations
Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts: Elif Obdan 
elif.obdan [​at​] / T + 90 212 334 07 13

CAMRON: Amy Silver / Chloe Boucouvalas
amy.silver [​at​] / chloe.boucouvalas [​at​] / T + 44 (0) 20 7420 1700 

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Istanbul Design Biennial
November 1, 2014

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