October 17, 2012

People Powered | Istanbul Design Biennial

There are few places more perfect to weigh the value of imperfection than Istanbul. And imperfection is the theme of the Istanbul Design Biennial, Turkey’s first, which is organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts and runs through Dec. 13. It consists of two separately curated exhibitions; together, they feature work by more than 300 designers and architects from 46 countries, and catalog the richness and increasing ubiquity of ad hoc design.

In Istanbul, it is common to see freshly washed carpets drying in the sun, clipped to a wall by the legs of what is, essentially, an improvised “clothespin”: one of those plain, plastic outdoor chairs familiar the world over. Although some things are dictated top-down in Turkey, design isn’t one of them. “Istanbul has been carrying design in its genes for centuries,” says Emre Arolat, one of the biennial’s curators and a second-generation architect, “but combining the words ‘design’ and ‘Istanbul’ is new.”

Arolat and his fellow curator, Joseph Grima, the editor of the Italian design magazine Domus, have pulled together projects from Monrovia, Liberia to St. Lamsbrecht, Austria, among other spots around the world.

Read more on The New York Times: People Powered | Istanbul Design Biennial


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