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Istanbul Design Biennial: A First for Turkey

Istanbul Design Biennial: A First for Turkey

Istanbul will host its first design biennial between October 13 – December 12, 2012. The theme is proposed by the director of London Design Museum, Deyan Sudjic, as “imperfection.” This theme refers to Istanbul, a city far from being perfect, yet one of the most inspiring centers of the world, with infinite layers. Istanbul Design

Istanbul Design Biennial workshops

Istanbul will host its first design biennial between October 13 – December 12, 2012. The theme is proposed by the director of London Design Museum, Deyan Sudjic, as “imperfection.” This theme refers to Istanbul, a city far from being perfect, yet one of the most inspiring centers of the world, with infinite layers.

Istanbul Design Biennial had a start-up with pre-events between March 22 - 27, 2012. Eleven different workshops, concurrently, in 9 different locations, took place. And a total of 201 university students worked with 30 international designers under the sponsorship of several companies.
What were these workshops about?

  • Happy Designs with Recycled Materials, together with Coca Cola, was about designing a functional industrial object that represents happiness (which strongly relates to the company’s brand identity) by using recycled cans, glasses, bottles, bottle caps and safes.
  • A Turkish household appliances brand, Vestel, focused on low-energy refrigerator design. Each student was given a different city of Turkey and asked to customize the refrigerator according to the character of the city
  • Some of other workshops can be summarized as; the lack of universal design in Karaköy (by TAG Platform); a stroll around texture, material, color and woven of Turkish textiles (by SALON Amsterdam); the definition of sustainability and ways to manage the process of a sustainable design (by Design and Innovation Initiative for Sustainable Life).

Istanbul Design Biennial workshopsThese kind of activities are valuable in terms of engaging university students and young professionals for the biennial. For this reason, Istanbul Design Biennial undertakes a special role, becoming the first biennial in Turkey that encourages potential visitors to be a part of itself. In other words, biennial visitors are also the artists.

The theme emphasizes imperfection, however, Istanbul Design Biennial perfectly encourages all kind of visitors to join. As a matter of fact, don't you think it is preferential for such cultural activities to be open to the public and not just to the professional artists?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.
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Nazlı Ödevci is a recent graduate of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden with an M.Sc. in Design for Sustainable Development in Architecture. She holds a B.S. in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey. Currently, ...

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