The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial 1 November – 14 December 2014

The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial The Future Is Not What It Used To Be organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and curated by Zoë Ryan opens to the public on 1 November. Throughout the city and in the biennial hub, Galata Greek Primary School, the biennial features 53 projects from designers all over the world that ask: “What is the future now?” as well as panels, conversations, workshops, film screenings and many other events until 14 December 2014. By rethinking the manifesto as a platform to frame pertinent questions, the projects question the role of design, its relationship to society, and its ability to be an active agent for change. The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial is co-sponsored by Arçelik, Doğuş Group & Bilgili Holding, ENKA Foundation and VitrA and it is held free of charge.

The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial has opened with a media conference held on Thursday, 30 October at Galata Greek Primary School with the participation of İKSV General Manager Görgün Taner, Director of Istanbul Design Biennial Deniz Ova and curator Zoë Ryan.

Zoë Ryan says, “Istanbul has a thriving creative community, so it seems an especially appropriate city in which to reflect on the field of design. In an effort to contribute to an already rich dialogue in Turkey and focus on issues urgently affecting daily life, the biennial brings together diverse design ideas from across the world for an emerging set of conditions”. Ryan also adds, “The 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial is envisioned as a conversation starter. It is an occasion to present a range of projects by some of the most inventive practitioners working today, and emphasize the critical role that design plays in identifying points of urgency and posing questions about the objects, buildings, and environments we interact with daily, as well as materializing outcomes.”

The conference was followed by the exhibition tour guided by curator Zoë Ryan and associate curator Meredith Carruthers. After the tour, The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial Academy Programme Exhibitions and other events were visited at the biennial’s event space, Antrepo 7.

The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial hub, Galata Greek Primary School

The Istanbul Design Biennial event space Antrepo 7 hosts the biennial’s Academy Programme as well as other exhibitions, seminars, conversations and workshops during six weeks. The biennial will spread over the city with its Design Walks, How To Do Too Kadıköy Project and film screenings. More information about the programme is available at: tasarı

The Academy Programme featuring 72 projects organised by over 33 academic institutions from Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Europe and the United States to reveal different aspects of the biennial theme, can be viewed at university campuses and at Antrepo 7, from 1 November to 14 December. Antrepo 7, located in Salıpazarı Harbour is open to the public for the first time as the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial Event space.

A digital platform has been created as a long term archive for the university projects participating in the Istanbul Design Biennial. Under the sponsorship of Polimeks Holding, the Academy Programme Platform ( also has an awards scheme for the projects that receive the highest amount of viewer traffic on the platform.

Within the scope of the Istanbul Design Biennial, the exhibition POLSKA IN BETWEEN is organised in collaboration with, the flagship brand of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, in honour of 600 years of Polish-Turkish diplomatic relations. POLSKA IN BETWEEN is an extensive presentation of contemporary Polish design, including product, graphic design, design thinking, public space, food design, design for children, as well as conceptual work. The fruits of the diverse design workshops, lectures, exhibitions, artist residencies, panel discussions and projects will be shown at Antrepo 7.

More programmes and workshops will also be held by Arçelik, Türk Tuborg A.Ş. and VitrA in Antrepo 7.

Design Walks, comprised of visits to design studios, stores, manufacturers, and noted buildings in 6 neighbourhoods and 6 thematic walks on Istanbul’s Asian and European sides to examine the textures of the city and observe traditional crafts are organised throughout the biennial.

Building on themes of dialogue and exchange in the biennial, the Talk to Us Panels & Designers in Dialogue Conversations gather together curators, critics and designers to explore new potentials for the design manifesto in the 21st Century and ask critical questions about our shared future, now. The panels and conversations are sponsored by VitrA and held free of charge.

The Film Programme held in Galata Greek Primary School and TAK Kadıköy throughout the biennial, presents different approaches to living in the future.

How To Do Too Kadıköy is a collaborative action initiated as part of the biennial. Building on the experience and expertise of both 72 Hour Urban Action (72 HUA) and Tasarım Atölyesi Kadıköy (TAK; Design Atelier Kadiköy), an open call to designers has resulted in the creation of 5 urban furniture for 5 meeting points of Istanbul’s Kadıköy neighbourhood. The furniture will be constructed with the residents by using recycling materials on Saturday, 1 November and Sunday, 2 November. The event will be held at 9.00 in TAK Kadıköy, at 12.00 at Kadıköy pier, at 15.00 at Kadıköy Altıyol Square on Saturday 1 November; and at 9.00 in Moda Çay Bahçesi (Moda Tea Garden) and 12.00 in Moda shore on Sunday, 2 November.

The images and video recordings showing the prototypes and design process will be on display in the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial Exhibition in Galata Greek Primary School as of 11 November.

The 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial Youth and Children’s Workshop Programme

The Youth and Children’s Workshops titled EKO Tasarım are organised by the Informel Eğitim – çocukistanbul every day throughout the biennial at the Galata Greek Primary School. Within the scope of the workshops, children and youngsters will deliberate on design and future in an interactive and fun environment, set out on a design excursion among the exhibited projects and combine different design strategies with their problem solving, creativity, and communication skills to create their own designs. The programme has different contents for different age groups and it is open to students under teacher supervision during the weekdays and to children and youngsters together with their parents on weekends. All workshops are held free of charge. For detailed information:​

Also, in collaboration with SALT Interpretation, high school students will discuss the idea of design, new trends and innovations in the field. Students will attend guided biennial tours and several workshops on public space, kitchen design and ergonomics and also meet with the biennial team, as well as professional designers and architects.