February 22, 2013 - Istanbul Design Biennial - Istanbul as a dynamic addition to the global design calendar
February 22, 2013

Istanbul as a dynamic addition to the global design calendar

CIMAM members visiting Adhocracy exhibition at Galata Greek School. Photo: Ali Güler.

Istanbul as a dynamic addition to the global design calendar

The first Istanbul Design Biennial, realized in the 40th year of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), has finished its successful nine-week run programme of exhibitions, workshops and parallel events, turning the city into an international showcase of design.

This year the biennial explored the theme of “Imperfection” (Kusurluluk), suggested by Deyan Sudjic, Director of Design Museum – London and a member of the biennial’s Advisory Board. 96 projects by some 300 designers and architects from 46 countries were hosted in the two curatorial exhibitions located in two different venues. Musibet exhibition, curated by Emre Arolat, took place in Istanbul Modern Museum, and Adhocracy exhibition, curated by Joseph Grima, was in Galata Greek Primary School.  In addition to two main exhibitions, Academy Programme, Workshop Exhibitions, Film Screenings, Design Walks, Seminar Programme and the Parallel Participant Programme were realised in different neighbourhoods of Istanbul.

Opening its doors on 13 October 2012, Istanbul Design Biennial exhibitions and events were visited by an overall number of 115,000 viewers until 12 December 2012.

The biennial also encouraged a cross-cultural dialogue between the global design scene and the city of Istanbul through a series of discussions, panels and conferences that were held with the participation of various local and global institutions and renown individuals such as Mark Wigley, dean of GSAPP Columbia University, and Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb.

The biennial also cooperated with leading design initiatives. Ideas City Festival organized by Audi Urban Futures Initiative was integrated into the biennial’s seminar programme as well as the “From Creative Ideas to Innovative Enterprises” conference by TÜSİAD Turkish Industry & Business Association.

Critical responses to the first Istanbul Design Biennial and its programme included:
“Adhocracy is an unusually ambitious endeavor which can make a constructive contribution to the ongoing debate about the rapidly changing role of design. If it succeeds, it will also establish the Istanbul Design Biennial as a dynamic addition to the global design calendar.”—Alice Rawsthorn, The New York Times

“The first Istanbul Design Biennial explores the theme of imperfection as a source of inspiration and talking points for various design disciplines.”—Thorsten Gritschke, The Wall Street Journal

“I am waiting eagerly to see the participation of the design-oriented business lines together with the biennial in the economy.”—David Nicholls, Telegraph

“Istanbul Design Biennial offers a delightful experience about Istanbul’s energy and increasing design market and the event is not only focusing on known brands but offering the opportunity for the discovery of the production of the design students and newly emerging designers.”—Helen Kirwan-Taylor, The Wall Street Journal

“There are few places more perfect to weigh the value of imperfection than Istanbul. And imperfection is the theme of the Istanbul Design Biennial.”—Shonquis Moreno, The New York Times

“Istanbul Design Biennial has proven its adequacy not only by focusing on the changing nature of design but also by creating a platform for the discussion of the changing face of Istanbul.”—Justin McGuirk, The Guardian

“Istanbul is newly exciting this fall for design aficionados and anyone interested in urban planning.”—Ann Abe, Forbes

“Istanbul Design Biennial also helped bring locals up to speed on global design.”—Craig Kellogg, Interior Design

“The sheer number of ways to work around extreme financial and political constraints leaves visitors feeling empowered and positive.”—Shumi Bose, Blueprint

Istanbul Design Biennial Publications
İKSV published the Istanbul edition of the New City Reader, a newspaper featuring articles on the city, architecture, public space and design.

Creative City Map including all the parallel events, was specially designed for the biennial.
Programme Booklet includes full details of exhibitions and events.
Catalogue consisting of 3 volumes, provides detailed information about the projects displayed by uniquely conceptualizing the context of design.

For domestic orders, visit iksvtasarim.com
For overseas orders, send an email to magaza [​at​] iksv.org.

Thank you to everyone who visited the first Istanbul Design Biennial. We look forward to seeing you at the second edition.

Istanbul Design Biennial
Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
Sadi Konuralp Caddesi No: 5
Şişhane 34433 Istanbul, Turkey
T +90 212 334 07 65-66

Istanbul Design Biennial
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