Istanbul Design Biennial bids farewell to thousands of visitors
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
The first Design Biennial and its events, which ran from Oct. 13 to Dec. 12, has welcomed 44,600 visitors from specific Istanbul Design Biennial exhibitions, in addition to a total of 115,000 for parallel events. Products, designed by nearly 250 students and 30 international designers in 12 different workshops have been displayed.The Istanbul Design Biennial has now ended after welcoming over 100,000 people to over 100 events put on designers hailing from every corner of the globe.
The event, which ran from Oct. 13 to Dec. 12, hosted 44,600 visitors from specific Istanbul Design Biennial exhibitions, in addition to a total of 115,000 for parallel events.
Curators Emre Arolat and Joseph Grima interpreted the theme “Imperfection” (Kusurluluk), determined by Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum – London and a member of the advisory board of the Istanbul Design Biennial, from their own perspectives. Over 100 projects by nearly 300 designers and architects from 46 countries were hosted in curatorial exhibitions located in two different venues. The “Musibet” exhibition, curated by Emre Arolat, took place at Istanbul Modern, while “Adhocracy,” curated by Joseph Grima, was exhibited at the Galata Greek Primary School.
In addition to the two main exhibitions, festival organizers also staged an academy program, workshop exhibitions, film screenings, design walks, a seminar program, as well as a parallel participant program over the past two months in different neighborhoods of Istanbul.
Panels and other cities
Panels and colloquiums, as well as ideas that emerged as a part of the academy program, which was developed in collaboration with 76 departments from 26 universities in Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Eskişehir and Turkish Cyprus, were also organized. Some 82 projects from various faculties and university departments that aimed to offer new perspectives on the “Imperfection” theme drew 27,250 people to 17 university campuses and five different venues around the city.
Followed closely by the international press, the Istanbul Design Biennial hosted over 300 design editors and critics from 25 countries and was covered extensively by prominent media institutions of the world.
Events of the biennial
Products, projects, sketches and other materials designed by nearly 250 students and 30 international designers in 12 different workshops were displayed at 21 different venues located in various neighborhoods of Istanbul as a part of pre-events that took place from March 22 to 27, 2012.
As part of the film screenings, documentaries and video works consisting of 19 films from nine countries that featured a wide variety of themes ranging from architecture to fashion design, product design to graphic design and gastronomy to urban design, were screened as part of a 19-day program. The opening event of the film screenings was a panel titled “Cinema and Design: A Creative Relationship,” which hosted director Gary Hustwit, film critic Esin üçüktepepınar, advertiser and Istanbul Bilgi University academic Levent Erden and the director of the Istanbul Design Biennial, Özlem Yalım Özkaraoğlu, as speakers. Within the scope of the panel, the urban transformation of Istanbul was also discussed.
The design walks, which provided opportunities to visit design-focused offices, stores, workshops, manufacturers and architectural structures in different regions of Istanbul with exclusive guided tours, were also organized in eight different areas, namely, Kuzguncuk, Beyoğlu-Cihangir-Galatasaray, Şişhane-Galata, Nişantaşı-Teşvikiye, Sultanahmet, Fener-Balat, Karaköy and Design Walk with TasaPlatform.
Because the design walks attracted great attention from both Turkish and international visitors, additional walks were organized as part of the program.
As a part of the seminar program, different institutions organized a total of 16 seminars, panels and conferences in line with the biennial theme. The different exhibtions and seminars on these exhibtions are among the most visited programs of the biennial.
Participants in the seminars included GSD-Public Space, Art and Design Program Executive Krzysztof Wodiczko; the dean of the London Royal College of Art, Ute Meta Bauer; the dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Mark Wigley; author, curator and historian of architecture Zeynep Çelik; architect Felicity D. Scott; the chair of the New York City Planning Commission, Arkady Volozh; the general director of the Copyright Management Department at the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Abdurrahman Çelik; as well as Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan.
Parallel participant programs
In the parallel participant program, realized in collaboration with architecture/design studios and firms active in creative fields such as the +D Group, Arzum, BMS, Camhane, Camper, ÇEBİ, Dhoku, Dilek Hanif, Ersa, Koleksiyon, Meriç Akay, Milli Reasürans Art Gallery, Mozaik, NORDist, Tayfun Mumcu, the Turkish Patent Institute and the Zebra Design Factory, hosted important Turkish designers, thinkers and opinion leaders.