Another Round Of Excitement

The Istanbul Art and Culture Foundation has done it again. This time it’s the Istanbul International Design Biennial.

Does anybody remember the day when taste took the driver’s seat? Probably not, because it all happened very quickly. We were still asking ourselves what the point of it was when suddenly, this time last year, we were confronted with an exhibition: ‘Intersecting Point’. The exhibition, at Ark Kültür in Cihangir, brought Turkish designers together and launched a discussion about their overall trends and their dialogue with each other. And, of course, the point of it all...

Curator Mahmut Nüvit Doksatlı, who dedicated the exhibition to the late poet Melih Cevdet Anday, summed it up nicely: “We started something. Only time will tell what will become of it.” And this time the future wasn’t long in coming. The International Istanbul Design Biennial is becoming reality in 2012.

‘Explaining the importance of design-oriented thinking,’ the biennial takes up fields from urban design, interior decoration, industrial design and graphic design to fashion and other creative disciplines. The aim: to understand and explain design and put the various discussion points of the issue on Istanbul’s art and culture calendar. Although the main theme of the biennial hasn’t been decided yet, director Özlem Yalım gives us a hint: “We aim to choose a theme that sets forth the problem and focuses on contemporary issues relating to Istanbul and design.” 

A series of events, including exhibitions, workshops and symposia, are already under way during preparations for the biennial, which look like taking a while. The first of these is the International Istanbul Design Symposium to be held at Kadir Has University, December 2nd and 3rd. For two solid days prominent figures from the world of design, will discuss the relationship of design to man, the environment, culture, politics, the economy, education, technology and science. A little taste of honey...

Among the symposium speakers are Alphan Manas, Defne Koz, Deyan Sudjuk, Faruk Malhan, George Beylerian, Prof. John Heskett, Levent Çalıkoğlu and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Asatekin, as well as Prof. Dr. Alpay Er, Bahar Korçan, Deborah Dawton, Gamze Güven, Gökhan Avcıoğlu, Ass’t. Prof. Dr. Serhan Ada, Seyhan Özdemir, Prof. Dr. Tevfik Balcıoğlu, Thomas Lockwood and Valerio Castelli.

For further details on the International Istanbul Design Symposium on December 2-3: