Istanbul Design Biennial 2016 curators Beatriz Colomina & Mark Wigley. Photo by Muhsin Akgun.
16 August 2016
by Niamh Tuft
In partnership with IKSV, we are seeking expressions of interest for senior curators, programmers and heads of design organisations from the UK to join a delegation visiting Istanbul Design Biennial between 19 - 23 October 2016.
The purpose of the delegation is to connect key individuals from the UK to designers and organisations, with the aim of brokering new collaborations and partnerships, as well as providing the opportunity for networking, learning and sharing with international counterparts. The British Council will fund travel, accommodation and per diems for delegates.
Five individuals will be selected to join an industry networking programme, visiting the Biennial itself and leading designer organisations and studios in Istanbul.
To express interest please email Niamh.Tuft@britishcouncil.org by 9 September with a short professional profile.
About Istanbul Design Biennial 2016
The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, curated by Mark Wigley and Beatriz Colomina, explores the intimate relationship between the concepts of “design” and “human.” Design always presents itself as serving the human but its real ambition is to redesign the human. The history of design is therefore a history of evolving conceptions of the human. To talk about design is to talk about the state of our species.
Humans have always been radically reshaped by the designs they produce and the world of design keeps expanding. We live in a time when everything is designed, from our carefully crafted individual looks and online identities, to the surrounding galaxies of personal devices, new materials, interfaces, networks, systems, infrastructures, data, chemicals, organisms, and genetic codes. The average day involves the experience of thousands of layers of design that reach to outer space but also reach deep into our bodies and brains. We literally live inside design, like the spider lives inside the web constructed from inside its own body. But unlike the spider, we have spawned countless overlapping and interacting webs. Even the planet itself has been completely encrusted by design as a geological layer. There is no longer an outside to the world of design. Design has become the world.
Design is the most human thing about us. Design is what makes the human. It is the basis of social life, from the very first artefacts to the exponential expansion of human capability. But design also engineers inequalities and new forms of neglect. More people than ever in history are forcibly displaced by war, lawlessness, poverty, and climate at the same time that the human genome and the weather are being actively redesigned. We can no longer reassure ourselves with the idea of “good design.”
This biennial is an archaeological project. It is not about celebrating particular designers or about visualizing remarkable futures. It will be a multi-media documentary about the state of design today, when everyday reality has outpaced science fiction. It will place the extreme condition of contemporary design into the context of the extended 200.000 year history of our species – from the first standardized ornaments and the footprints of the first shoes to the latest digital and carbon footprints. A biennial normally focuses on the last 2 years. The time frame for this exhibition will span from the last 2 seconds to the last 200.000 years. Ancient archaeological artefacts from Turkey and the region will be presented at the heart of the biennial to reframe the latest real-time thinking about design.
Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) is a non-profit cultural institution that was founded in 1973. The general objectives of the Foundation are: to make Istanbul one of the world's foremost capitals of culture and the arts; to create continuous interaction between national and universal values and traditional and contemporary values via culture and the arts; and to contribute actively to the development of cultural policies. With these objectives, İKSV organises the Istanbul Festivals of Music, Film, Theatre and Jazz, as well as the Istanbul Biennial, the Istanbul Design Biennial, Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, autumn film week Filmekimi and one-off events throughout the year. The Foundation hosts cultural and artistic events at its performance venue Salon, located at the Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building. İKSV also organises the Pavilion of Turkey at la Biennale di Venezia and coordinates an artist residency programme at Cité International des Arts, France. Furthermore, İKSV conducts studies and drafts reports with the aim of contributing to cultural policy development.
The foundation also supports artistic and cultural production through presenting awards at its festivals, commissioning works and taking part in international and local co-productions, as well as the Aydın Gün Encouragement Award, presented annually to a young musician working in the field of classical music, and Talât Sait Halman Translation Award, presented to the translator of an outstanding literary translation into Turkish.