The future will not be as we imagined
The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial is ending Dec. 14.
You should be familiar with the title by now: “The Future is not what It Used to Be” The reason for this is that the contemporary person has been imagining his or her future for centuries; whereas, from the moment they imagine, that dream of the future becomes old. “Design” is a precise solution to this rapid consumption.
Design comes as the lump sum of initiatives, studies and creations for the future. Designing is essentially creating for a further date. Today, the dominant concept of many genres is design.
Design has to know the past, interpret and evaluate today and construct the agenda of the future. This biennial is showing us the agenda of the future.
In the foreword of the catalogue/book prepared for the biennial, Bülent Eczacıbaşı explains the aim of the biennial as reviewing the history of design manifestations and questioning their functions for the future.
Director of the Design Biennial Deniz Ova said the biennial was trying to discover how design has moved beyond the conventional commercial concerns, also “questioning the potential of design in increasing the quality of life.”
Curator Zoe Tyan wrote about the theme of the biennial: As French poet, writer and thinker Paul Valery said in 1937, the future is not what it used to be. Valery said this during the period between the World War I and World War II, which was the time of serious social and political changes.
In Galata Private Greek Primary School, you are witnessing how the future will be written. All of them are noteworthy, but I want to especially talk about two projects. The First is “Ek-Biç, Ye-İç.”
In the ever crowding Istanbul, the project focuses on the need for green and questions the means of producing local food in intensely urbanized environments. In the first day of the biennial, people planted their own winter vegetables in this 12-floor garden. It is different than the gardens we know of. It was designed according to a library system. Just as you would record the readers and the books in a library, this garden also records the reader/grower and the book/vegetable so that marks will remain in this library. This is in an apartment building. They are highlighting that in our cities, which have turned into cement mountains, even apartment buildings can be made use of.
The second is the “140journos” initiative on Twitter. Maybe it is one of the most effective formations that show the best effect of social media, something we have been talking about frequently in past years.
The 140journos is a counter-media movement that shares content people have been producing since 2012 and posting on Twitter, the project has turned the Galata Greek School into a participatory news room.
The second part of the biennial is the Academic Program exhibition at Antrepo 7. It exhibits all of the “future designs” coming from universities and other academic institutions that were informed of the theme of the biennial one year ahead of the event.
In this exhibition, a Polish design, UNCUT is a must see. This exhibition is especially valuable because it shows the imagination of the future by the academia to the visitor and also informs of each other’s works in the academic world.
The 2nd Design Biennial ends on the evening of Dec. 14. Dedicate your weekend to the biennial and see the future from today, because when that day comes, you will notice that it is not what it used to be.