• The Future is Not What it Used to Be, 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial
    Atelier Manferdini and Stamen Design
    Zoë Ryan and Meredith Carruthers
    Galata Greek Primary School, Istanbul
    Nov 01, 2014 to Dec 14, 2014
    Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts

Atelier Manferdini, view of Still Life to Living Pictures, Galata Greek Primary School mezzanine, 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial, 2014, Istanbul.

Throughout history, manifestos have functioned as statements of purpose, produced as texts that lie someplace between declaration and desire, stimulating limitless dialogue and pursuing inquiry as a radical process. In today’s context, how can we reclaim the manifesto as a catalyst for critical thinking in design? Reinvented as an action, a service, a provocation, or an object, the manifesto holds new potential for generating inventive outcomes that address both positive and negative consequences. Istanbul is an ideal place for a biennial that will bring together a diverse cross-section of design ideas for the emerging conditions of our world. Using the city as a dynamic space for projects, talks, workshops, publications, and actions, the biennial presents an international range of projects that open up new attitudes and sensibilities, foregrounding underexplored or overlooked aspects of society, and prompting investigation and exchange about our designed, constructed, and digitized age.

Elena Manferdini founded Atelier Manferdini in Bologna, Italy, and in 2009, she established her firm in Venice, California, which has completed art and architectural projects in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Manferdini frequently lectures at institutions such as MIT, Princeton University, Harvard University’s GSD, UCLA, USC, UIC, UCB, Seika University, Tsinghua University, and the Bauhaus. Her work has been exhibited internationally at LACMA and MoCA in Los Angeles, MAXXI in Rome, and the MAK Center in Vienna. In 2006, she was invited to design the West Coast Pavilion for the United States at the Beijing Biennale in the Chinese Millennium Museum. In both 2008 and 2010, she curated West Coast sessions for the United States, also at the Beijing Biennale.

Stamen Design was founded by Eric Rodenbeck in 2001. The studio has since developed a reputation for design and technical leadership in the emerging genre of interactive mapping and live data visualization. The team works with corporate clients, such as MTV, National Geographic, and Microsoft; cultural institutions, including the Exploratorium and SF MoMA; artists like Vito Acconci; internet giants like Facebook and Google; and data bodies like OpenStreetMap. Building and contributing to open- source software projects is a key part of Stamen's practice. Their work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Zoë Ryan, curator of the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial, is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design  at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is building the museum's first collection of contemporary design and expanding its architecture offerings. Her recent exhibitions include Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects (2012); Fashioning the Object: Bless, Boudicca, and Sandra Backlund (2012); Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention (2011); and Hyperlinks: Architecture and Design (2010), the most visited architecture and design exhibition in the museum's history. Prior to working at the museum, Ryan was senior curator at the Van Alen Institute in New York, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the design of public space. She has lectured internationally, and authored and edited numerous publications, including Building with Water: Designs, Concepts, Visions (Birkhäuser, 2010). In 2012, she was a member of the curatorial advisory team for the United States Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. In Fall 2012, Fast Company named Ryan one of fifty people shaping the future of design. She is currently adjunct associate professor in the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago and lecturer in the Art History Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Meredith Carruthers, associate curator of the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial, is an independent curator and artist living in Montreal, Canada. Her recent projects include: mSm: Molinari, Sala, Munari with Andrea Sala at Fondation Guido Molinari and Musée d'art de Joliette (2011–12); and Parade, a choreographed art display at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery (2011). As part of the curatorial team at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (2008–12), she worked on exhibitions such as, Actions: What You Can Do With the City (2008–09) and Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture (2011–12). She has written on theoretical architecture, window display, and conceptual exhibition making for Abitare (2013), cura.art magazine (2013), and Canadian Architect (forthcoming). With collaborator Susannah Wesley (Leisure, 2004–), she has produced exhibitions and special projects with venues in Canada and abroad, and participated in residencies in Banff, Alberta; Dawson City, Yukon; and Vienna. She is a 2014 researcher-in-residence at the Artexte Documentation Centre in Montreal.

The Istanbul Design Biennial was inaugurated in 2010 with the aim to discuss the notion of design and introduce different tendencies, movements, and progressive thoughts to its audience. The Istanbul Design Biennial primarily aims to raise public awareness with regards to "design" issues, to create a platform that supports the development of design and innovation policies, and to support the constitution of a design archive on national and international scales.