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Record numbers at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial
Beatriz Colomina & Mark Wigley.

ISTANBUL.- The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and co-sponsored by ENKA Foundation, Petkim and VitrA ended on Sunday, 20 November 2016. The exhibitions in Alt Art Space and Istanbul Archaeological Museums are extended until 4 December 2016.

Since its opening on 22 October, the four-week long and free-of-charge event hosted over 120.000 visitors. Titled ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species: 2 seconds, 2 days, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years and curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial presented more than 70 projects by over 250 participants.

The curators of the biennial Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley said “In such a frightening moment of human history, it was deeply gratifying for us to see the daily crowds of public, professionals, teachers, students and children coming to the biennial and engaging so intensely with the difficult, urgent and ancient question ARE WE HUMAN? It was a real privilege for us to show in Istanbul the work of a remarkable galaxy of thought-provoking people and hopefully launch a new kind of conversation.”

The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial with numbers
From 22 October to 20 November, the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial exhibitions met with remarkable interest and were attended by over 120.000 people.

The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial explored the intimate relationship between “design” and “human” for a month with panels, seminars, performances, design routes and Creative Districts Programme in addition to the programme of exhibitions that took place in five different venues.

The biennial featured 37 panels and workshops, 23 children and youth workshops, 49 parallel events and 155 speakers.

146 submissions from 68 cities in 36 countries responded to the biennial’s open call and 5 videos were selected for the exhibition by a jury consisting of the curators of the biennial, Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, Director of Istanbul Film Festival Kerem Ayan, Director of the Storefront for Art and Architecture Eva Franch i Gilabert, artist and film producer Amie Siegel and curator Iván López Munuera.

39 brands brought their designs to 16 districts of Istanbul with the Creative Districts programme.

The “design stories” of the city were witnessed through design routes in 6 quarters of Istanbul.

This year, Istanbul Design Biennial brought projects that offered different points of view to the theme “Are We Human?” together with the audience, in collaboration with 26 universities from 6 cities in Turkey and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in Netherlands.

More than 1000 children attended the workshops with expert trainers and questioned the role of design for a habitable and sustainable future.

Articles written by 50 writers, scientists, artists, architects, designers, philosophers, historians, archaeologists and anthropologists for the Superhumanity project have reached more than 100.000 people worldwide through e-flux, starting mid-September.

200 years of history of design in Turkey under the spotlight
Design Chronology Turkey | Draft started at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial and has been prepared under the coordination of Pelin Derviş, with precious contributions from a vast array of experts in each respective field and focused on the 200 years of history of design in Turkey under 13 headings, such as packaging, graphic design, communication and advertisement, housing, furniture, landscape, industrial buildings. Design Chronology Turkey | Draft presents the first phase of a three-year research project by a team of more than 50 Turkey-based experts into the last 200 years of design in Turkey. This huge group of experts, naming itself Curious Assembly, turned a part of Studio-X Istanbul into a research laboratory during the biennial, the topics highlighted in the chronology were the focus of a series of events and panels. The events were organised around provocative “curiosity desks” (mini exhibitions) prepared by the Curious Assembly.

Design spread over the city with its Creative Districts project
For the first time in the Istanbul Design Biennial history, the inhabitants of the city met with design not only through the exhibition venues but also with the Creative Districts in its 3rd edition. The project brought together the visitors with numerous professionals from 39 different brands, ranging from small manufacturers to established brands, design and architecture studios in 16 different districts, including Karaköy, Eminönü, Beyoğlu, TomTom District, Nişantaşı, Akaretler, Beşiktaş, Şişli, Ortaköy, Levent, Etiler, Arnavutköy, Kuruçeşme, Sarıyer, Kadıköy, and Büyükada.

Sustainability in Fashion Design with H&M
A workshop named “Sustainability in Fashion Design” was held at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial, sponsored by H&M, and in collaboration with the Consulate General of Sweden and Swedish Institute. 19 young designers and students of textile and fashion design attended the workshop, which was based on the possibility of fashion to be sustainable and eco-friendly, and encouraged the participants to work with recycled materials only. Designs of the participants are displayed as an installation at ADAHAN Istanbul Hotel until 4 December.

The Youth and Children’s Workshop Programme, ‘Imagine, Think and Design for the Planet’ for the young visitors of the biennial

Held at the Galata Greek Primary School, under the co-sponsorship of ALLIGATOR Boya and BASF, the Youth and Children’s Workshops titled ‘Imagine, Think and Design for the Planet’ was organised by the Informal Education – çocukistanbul every day throughout the biennial. More than 1000 children attended the workshops, where they debated subjects on design and human in an interactive and fun environment and combined different design strategies with their problem solving, creativity, and communication skills to create their own designs.

Design Routes in 6 different quarters
The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial witnessed the “design stories” of the city through its Design Routes which included guided visits to several design offices, stores, ateliers, manufacturing sites and architectural buildings in six different quarters spanning both sides of Istanbul including Beyoğlu, Çukurcuma, Tophane, Pera, Galata, Karaköy, Nişantaşı, Sultanahmet, Kuzguncuk, Fener and Balat. Offering a brand new vision of Istanbul, these routes demonstrate the timelessness of design by embracing the city’s architectural edifices and created the opportunity for participants to observe and get information on several disciplines and stages of design.

26 universities from 6 different cities participated in The Academy Programme
The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial hosted many exhibitions and projects through the Academy Programme, organised in collaboration with 26 universities from 6 different cities. The Academy Programme included products and ideas created through workshops, competitions and projects by various faculties and departments of the universities in their campuses.

146 open call videos submitted from 68 cities in 36 countries
The basic idea of the biennial was further expanded by 146 two-minute Open Call videos from 36 countries on the theme ARE WE HUMAN?. An international and interdisciplinary jury evaluated more than 200 videos from 68 cities in 36 countries and selected 5 videos which were highlighted in the biennial exhibition and catalogue. Other 141 submitted videos fulfilling the requirements of the Open Call were presented in a dedicated section on the top floor of the Galata Greek Primary School and are also available online on the biennial website.

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November 27, 2016

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Record numbers at the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial

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