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Elle Decor Italia

Are We Human? Design is revolutionized at the Istanbul Biennale

The third edition of the Istanbul Biennale curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley focuses on big issues and turns into a creative collective for the projects that transform the world of design


The project Nina Island, Matters Around Architecture by Nemestudio, is among the participants of the  Istanbul Design Biennale, which offers a great range of events and exhibitions unveiled in the Turkish capital until November 20th 2016 (Picture: Sahir Ugur Eren)

Are We Human? The Design of the Species: 2 seconds, 2 days, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years. This is the concept behind the Istanbul Biennale which is devoted to the world of design and whose third edition was set in the Turkish capital by the Istanbul Foundation of Culture and Arts (İKSV).

In the picture: the project City of 7 Billion by Joyce Hsiang and Bimal Mendis

More than 70 objects from over 50 different countries are presented by 250 artists, designers, architects, directors, scientists to investigate the relation between design and human being.


In the picture: the project Maropeng Acts I&II, by Lesley Lokko. (Picture: Sahir Ugur Eren)

“We live in a time when every design was born from new materials, interfaces, networks, data, chemical products, organism and genetic codes. Every day we bump into millions of design networks that come from the space and connect to our bodies and brains. Design has become the new world and has influenced human being so much so that they are now inseparable. Nonetheless is our social life based on design whose dynamics are often cause of inequalities and abandon. The idea of “ideal design” doesn’t exist anymore and it is necessary for us to rebuild it”, curators Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley write in the Manifesto.



In the picture: the project Objects of Daydreaming by Pattu. (Picture: Sahir Ugur Eren)

The Biennale turns into a creative collective that brings together the participant of such revolution. A combination of art, science, forms and engineering, and a reflection for us all. Five locations were set by the Spanish architect Andrés Jaque’ studio Office of Political Innovation. Among them, the Alt Art Space in Bomonti, the Studio-X, Depo in Karaköy, the Greek Primary School of Galata and, the Archeologic Museum in Sultanahmet



In picture: the project Selfie Curtain. An Unfinished Encyclopedia of Scale Figures Without Architecture by Mos Architects. (Picture: Sahir Ugur Eren)

There are four macro section, known as “cloud”: Body design, which comprises projects are focused on the transformation of the human being as an ever changing artefact; Planet design, with projects that re plan territories and ecosystems; Life design with focus on electronic and mechanical forms, along with the biological ones; Time design, dedicated to the latest technologies, such as social media, which today provide anybody with the chance to change and look every day different.



In the picture: the project The Hand. The Whole Man in Miniature by Madelon Vriesendrop. (Picture: Sahir Ugur Eren)

As for the youngest, the Academy Programme is a series of exhibition and talks set by over 26 international universities coming from more than six different countries. For those who want to visit the Biennale outdoor, a rich agenda full of various events walk the curious visitors into the centre of Creative District of London with a series of Design Routes to enjoy in groups.


In the picture: the project Virtual Interior Istanbul by Annett Zinsmeister. (Picture: Sahir Ugur Eren)


Among the participants, British film-maker Tacita Dean, urban architect Mitch McEwen, German electronic artist Orkan Telhan, New York based studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and the infamous Argentinian architect Tomás Saraceno, creative agency Forensic Architecture of Londra, body architect Lucy McRae, US choreograph William Forsythe and Istanbul based video artist Ali Kazma, just to name a few.

The Istanbul Biennale is opened until November 20th 2016.
For more info: 


by Valentina Mariani / 11 November 2016


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