Final days to visit Istanbul Design Biennial
The fourth Istanbul Design Biennial, titled “A School of Schools” and curated by Jan Boelen with associate curators Nadine Botha and Vera Sacchetti, enters its final days, during which it will host a series of intriguing public events.
Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the biennial has brought together projects by more than 200 interdisciplinary practitioners from across the globe in six of the city’s most iconic cultural institutions in the Beyoğlu district—Akbank Sanat, Yapı Kredi Culture Center, Arter, Pera Museum, SALT Galata and Studio-X Istanbul. More than 150,000 visitors have experienced the biennial since its opening on Sept. 22.
Along with the six-week-long exhibition, “A School of Schools” has presented a public program featuring 146 events designed to expand learning beyond the walls of the classroom, taking it into the streets, and sharing it with the city. Multidisciplinary practitioners including designers, architects, artists and scholars are pooling their expertise to explore the many dimensions of design as learning and learning as design.
The public program will conclude with the symposium “Housing the Human” and the presentation “Design as an Attitude,” which will both take place at the Yapı Kredi Culture Center.
The “Housing the Human” symposium is the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration between five European institutions and organizations over the course of a year, which will take place today. It will feature sessions moderated by experts from the fields of architecture, art, science and technology, exploring what it might mean to house the human—today and in the future.
On Nov. 3, award-winning design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn will talk about her latest book, “Design as an Attitude.”
Conceived as a guide to contemporary design, the book demystifies the field by exploring the most dynamic developments in design and assessing their impact on humanity.
Other highlights of the last two weeks of the biennial include the workshop “Design Fault Lines” by design scholar Livia Rezende, an enquiry into the fault lines in design practice, discourse and education.
Additionally, several international students will be in residency. “Reverse-engineering Economic Mania” by the University of Underground, is one of their projects, which investigates colonial trade connections between the Netherlands and Turkey. Other projects are on the Dutch invention of speculative trade methods and “New Grounds” by Ineke Hans with students from University of the Arts Berlin, which delves into the products, projects, strategies and services our society needs to flourish now and in the near future.
The program will continue with presentations and talks including a lively E-Number bingo and the Sweet Creativity interactive talk by Eat Art Collective, a presentation of the book “Global Tools: 1973-1975,” edited by Valerio Borgonuovo and Silvia Franceschini and a Blockchain Seminar and Workshop by Burak Arıkan, who will explore how encrypted communication has evolved.
In addition to these events, an interdisciplinary research project titled “Hope on Water” was recently launched. Prompted by the serious lack of emergency housing in Istanbul, “Hope on Water” is a prototype of a home that could safely house four to six humans in case of a serious earthquake or natural disaster. Designed to float on water, the structure was unveiled on the Golden Horn waterway for the first time last week.
The biennial exhibition will be open until Nov. 4 and can be visited with “Sesli Rehber,” a mobile application that also features an audio-guide in English. The app is available to download free from Google Play and the Apple App Store.