June 5, 2012 - Istanbul Design Biennial - Roundtable discussion: Why Biennial?
June 5, 2012

Roundtable discussion: Why Biennial?

Photo: Ali Güler.

Roundtable discussion:
Why Biennial?

26 May 2012

Istanbul Design Biennial
Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
Sadi Konuralp Caddesi No: 5
Şişhane 34433 Istanbul

T + 90 212 334 07 65-66
F + 90 212 334 07 19


Istanbul has welcomed the directors of design and architecture biennials and triennials to discuss the topic: “Why biennial?”

The first edition of Istanbul Design Biennial, continued its evolving conversation with a roundtable discussion titled Why Biennial? on 26 May 2012. Moderated by Ozlem Yalim Ozkaraoglu, Director of Istanbul Design Biennial, the meeting featured eight directors of biennials and triennials of worldwide repute: Giovanna Massoni, Director of International Design Biennial of Liège; Matevž Čelik, Director of Bio-Biennial of Industrial Design of Ljubljana; Elsa Francés, Manager of Design International Biennial St Etienne; Guta Moura Goudes, Design Director of Lisbon Experimenta Design; Dr Serge Serov, Director of Moscow International Graphic Design Biennial; Weiwen Huang, Director of Shenzhen&Hong Kong Bi-City Urban/Architecture Biennial; Brendan McGetrick, Co-Artistic Director of the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennial; and Beatrice Galilee, Chief Curator of the 2013 Lisboa Architecture Triennial.

The attending speakers gave comprehensive presentations of their respective organisations and went on to discuss the objectives and impacts of design events that are steadily increasing in number every passing year. Being different from trade fairs or exhibitions, a biennial’s purpose is to bring a climate of stimulating concepts, to reveal the productive trans-local network of actors, and to create platforms for encounters. In this respect, the main debate focused on how the biennials can be used as a tool for generating critical discussion on design issues, and how that discussion would relate to the everyday life of society, and politics of design?

Why Istanbul?
Turkey’s growing role as an economic, political and cultural centre has highlighted the importance of innovation and design and spurred the development of creative industries, particularly in the multicultural metropolis of Istanbul. One of the Biennial’s primary objectives, therefore, is to celebrate this creative potential and share it with the international audience in belief that the diverse view points and distinctive design discourse of Istanbul will enrich the global design culture. The Design Biennial also aims to become a critical tool which can pursue, with a research-based collaborative curatorial practice, the true resources and potentialities of Istanbul.

About Istanbul Design Biennial
The first edition of Istanbul Design Biennial, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) under the co-sponsorship of Eren Holding, Koray Group of Companies, Vestel and VitrA, will be held between 13 October–12 December 2012.

The curators of the Istanbul Design Biennial, architect Emre Arolat and Chief Editor of Domus Magazine and architect Joseph Grima will present two independent approaches within the conceptual framework of the biennial theme, Imperfection, adopted at the suggestion of Deyan Sudjic, Director of The Design Museum in London and a member of the Istanbul Design Biennial’s Advisory Board. The main exhibitions of the biennial, titled Musibet and Adhocracy will be held at Istanbul Modern and Galata Greek Primary School, in parallel with various other events dispersed around the city.

The “Open Call” for the Biennial exhibitions has ended on 2 June 2012.

The pre-events of the first edition of Istanbul Design Biennial have begun in 2010. An International Design Symposium (2010 / Why design? Why biennial?), Q&A with International Designers, (2011 / Why design?) and Workshop Programme for university students (March 2012) have been organised since then.

For further details please check istanbuldesignbiennial.iksv.org.

Media Relations
Elif Obdan
Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts
T + 90 212 334 07 13
elif.obdan [​at​] iksv.org

Amanda Kasper
Camron PR
T +44 20 7420 1700
amanda.kasper [​at​] camronpr.com

Istanbul Design Biennial
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