Istanbul Design Biennial 2

The Future Is Not What It Used To Be

The 2nd edition of the Istanbul Design Biennial, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), will be held between 18 October-14 December 2014. The title of the biennial “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be” was announced by curator Zoë Ryan at a press meeting on Wednesday, 13 November.

İKSV Chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı gave an opening speech at the press meeting held in FerahFeza in Karaköy and underlined that the Istanbul Design Biennial has attracted high interest in Turkey and in the international arena, received positive responses and has been pivotal in opening up new areas of discussion in the field of design and added: “With the biennial, Istanbul has strengthened its position in the design world. Fruitful dialogues have been developed with highly esteemed design events all around the world in order to initiate new collaborations. Benefiting from the experience of the first biennial, we believe that the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial will further the success of this biennial and become even more effective, productive, thought-provoking, creative and inspirational. With the aim of contributing to the accessibility and outreach of the event, admission to the next Istanbul Design Biennial will be free of charge.”

The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial Curator Zoë Ryan and Istanbul Design Biennial Director Deniz Ova presented the theme and answered questions. The meeting was attended by members of the press, design and architecture professionals, academics as well as the Istanbul Design Biennial Advisory Board members.

The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial asks “What is the future now?” As Ryan, in conversation with Ova explained, the biennial asks, how can we reclaim the manifesto for the 21st century and beyond, not only in the production of texts, but through actions, services, provocations, or objects and seize the potential to incite inventive outcomes? As a platform for generating new ideas, the biennial invites submissions for contemporary design manifestos that explore the complex role of design in today’s society.

Ryan also added that the biennial will embrace designs that are visionary, yet grounded in everyday realities-innovative approaches that are transforming how we see, interact with, and understand the world. The biennial will articulate a portrait of design activity today, mapping the often unexpected ways the field intersects with contemporary life: with basic human needs such as food, shelter, health and safety, but also with less tangible issues, including love, play, fear, discord, abundance, sustainability, mobility, accessibility, community, and geopolitics.

Seeding ideas and fostering dialogue and debate, the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial will feature new commissions and projects selected through a two-stage call for ideas.

The venues and the events programme of the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial including the academy programme, workshops, design walks, film screenings, seminars and panels will be announced later in 2014.

The design of the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial hub, catalogue, and visual identity will be created by SUPERPOOL and Project Projects. The promotional campaign of the biennial will be prepared by Alametifarika.


The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial encourages individuals from any field or background related to design to contribute. The biennial is interested in receiving concepts for manifestos in all forms, including, but not limited to, images, animations, videos, graphics, diagrams, and/or texts. Ultimately, the form of each contribution should be determined by whatever most effectively communicates the idea.


The Istanbul Design Biennial, which first took place in 2012, is an international, biannual event, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). The biennial explores a wide range of fields from urban design (environmental and regional planning) to architecture, industrial, graphic, interior, fashion, textile, interaction design and all related fields.

The biennial aims to showcase the products, progressive ideas, and discourses of the related fields, raise public awareness in design issues, and highlight the importance of design for economic, social and political change, cultural interaction, and quality of life. One of the biennial’s primary objectives is to celebrate the creative potential in the country and introduce international examples to the city in the belief that diverse perspectives and the distinctive design discourse of Istanbul will enrich the global design culture.


The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial Advisory Board Members are Chairman of the Board of Vitra Design Foundation, Mr. Alexander von Vegesack; Aga Khan Award for Architecture recipient, architect, Han Tümertekin; architect, editor, writer and curator of the first Istanbul Design Biennnial, Joseph Grima; Industrial Designer and Director of the first Istanbul Design Biennial, Özlem Yalım Özkaraoğlu; UltraRPM Chairman Paul McMillen; Vice Rector at Yasar University and Board Member and Design Coordinator of Izmir Mediterranean Academy, Prof. Tevfik Balcıoğlu and; Vice President of Icograda and graphic designer, Yeşim Demir.

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