Coinciding with its 40th anniversary, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) launched the 1st Istanbul Design Biennial under the theme of 'Imperfection', which took place from 13 October – 12 December 2012.
The first Istanbul Design Biennial has adopted this theme at the suggestion of Mr Deyan Sudjic, a member of its advisory board who is the Director of the Design Museum in London.
According to Özlem Yalım Özkaraoğlu, the Istanbul Design Biennial director, the design and creative industries have become more important in Turkey over the last 10 years, resulting in a need for a local biennial for the local design community.
The growth of Turkey’s economy has highlighted the importance of innovation and design, and at the same time stimulated the development of creative industries. One of the Biennial’s primary goals is to raise awareness of Turkey’s creative potential on an international level.
Featuring urban design, architecture, industrial, graphic, fashion and new media design, alongside relevant creative products and projects, the Biennial hosted over 100 projects by nearly 300 designers and architects from 46 countries, in two main exhibitions curated by Emre Arolat and Joseph Grima.
'Musibet', hosted by the
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, was curated by Emre Arolat. The show was divided into two sub-exhibits: 'the Aestheticization of Context' and 'Anti-Context in Design along the Axis of the Grand Transformation', putting the spotlight on Istanbul’s current urban architecture and design. The exhibitions comprised more than 30 projects of 165 designers and architects, displaying multiple faces of grand urban transformations continuously being realized in Istanbul, as well as in other geographies.
Having taught at several universities, Arolat is a well-know figure of the Istanbul architecture and design world.
exhibition, curated in collaboration with Elian Stefa, Ethel Baraona Pohl, and Pelin Tan, was set up in the Galata Greek Primary School. The show focused on the contemporary design scene in the wake of a wave of social and technological revolutions in recent years and featured over 60 projects by 120 designers and architects.
Joseph Grima is a Milan-based architect, editor, writer and curator as well as the editor of Domus, the internationally renowned magazine of contemporary architecture.
The four-day conference 'Ideas City', organized with Audi Urban Future Initiative featured a series of workshops, a lecture by New York City Planning Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Planning Commission Amanda Burden, and the announcement of the winner of the second 'Audi Urban Future Initiative Award'.
For two months, the Design Biennial transformed Istanbul into a city of design, welcoming over 44,600 visitors of specific exhibitions and a total of 115,000 including parallel events.
Part of the side events was an academy programme, workshop exhibitions, a seminar programme, film screenings and design walks.
Students of urban design, architecture, industrial design, new media design, and fashion from various universities in Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir organized workshops, competitions, and special projects within the Biennial theme.
Exhibition View of Adhocracy
Stratigraphic Manufactury by
, an Antwerp-based design group in operation.
This project explores how 3D-printed objects created from identical digital files can be as varied and unique as hand-made objects. (Adhocracy Exhibition) Courtesy Kristof Vrancken/Unfold.
Augmented Structures v2.0 by Refik Anadol and Alper Derinbogaz (Musibet Exhibition)
Exhibition View Musibet. Courtesy Istanbul Design Biennial.