Chinese public health poster depicting the human body as a factory, 1933. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.
The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial is devoted to the topic, "Are We Human? The Design of the Species: 2 seconds, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years," a multi-dimensional exploration of the intimate relationship between the concepts of "human" and "design." The associated exhibition, online platforms, and publications completely rethink these concepts for a time in which we actively design everything from genes to the weather, often without deeper understanding. An international array of designers, architects, artists, historians, theorists, archeologists, and scientists here will respond to a set of eight interlinked propositions: Design Is Always a Design of the Human, The Human Is the Designing Animal, Our Species Is Completely Suspended in Endless Layers of Design, Design Radically Expands Human Capability, Design Routinely Constructs Radical Inequalities, Design is the Design of Neglect, “Good Design” Is an Anaesthetic, and Design without Anaesthetics Asks Urgent Questions about Our Humanity.
Internationally renowned architectural historian and theorist Beatriz Colomina is professor of architecture and founding director of the Program in Media and Modernity at Princeton University. Her books include Manifesto Architecture: The Ghost of Mies (Sternberg Press, 2014), Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X–197X (2010), Domesticity at War (2007), Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (1994) and Sexuality and Space (1992). She is the curator, along with a team of Princeton PhD students, of the exhibitions Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X-197X, which opened at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, in 2006, and has travelled to eleven venues worldwide; Playboy Architecture, 1953–79, which opened at the NAi Maastricht in 2012 and traveled to the DAM (Deutsche Architektur Museum), Frankfurt, in 2014; and Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education in a Time of Disciplinary Instability, which was presented at the Lisbon Triennale in 2013 and the Venice Biennale in 2014.
An architectural historian, theorist, and critic from New Zealand based in New York, Mark Wigley is professor and dean emeritus of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He is the author of The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida's Haunt (1993), White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture (1995), and Constant's New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire (coedited with Catherine de Zegher, 1998), and The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationist Architectures from Constant's New Babylon to Beyond (2001). Wigley was one of the founders of Volume magainze and has curated exhibitions at the MoMA and the Drawing Center in New York, the Witte de With in Rotterdam, and the CCA in Montreal. His most recent book is Buckminster Fuller, Inc.: Architecture in the Age of Radio.
Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation is a Madrid- and New York-based architectural practice that explores the role of architecture in the making of societies at the intersection of design and politics. They are the makers of COSMO: MoMA PS1, Plasencia Clergy House, House in Never Never Land, IKEA Disobedients, TUPPER HOME, PHANTOM: Mies as Rendered Society, and ESCARAVOX. Their work is part of the MoMA’s permanent collection and has been exhibited at the MAK in Vienna, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and the Design Museum in London. Jaque is professor of advanced architectural design at Columbia University’s GSAPP and visiting professor at Princeton University’s School of Architecture. His work has been extensively published in a range of diverse media, including A+U, Domus, El Croquis, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Volume, and Wired.
Pemra Ataç Açiktan studied at Anadolu University’s Graphic Design Department. After working as an art director for Y&R/Reklamevi, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R London, and Alametifarika, she served as a creative director for TBWA/Istanbul. She was awarded the Eczacibasi Foundation’s Young Designer of the Year Award twice. Açiktan founded her own design agency, Daniska, in 2008; since 2013, she has worked as the managing creative director for Rabarba. Her awards include those from the Turkish Graphic Designers Association and Crystal Apple. In 2014, she was listed as one of Advertising Age’s 15 "Women to Watch" in Turkey. She focuses on brand strategy, emblem andlogo design, packaging, press releases, commercial film, and interactive design.
Yetkin Basarir is a multi-disciplinary designer living and working in Istanbul, and icurrently serves as creative director at I-AM design agency. Basarir was recently honored with the 2011 Turkish Industry and Business Association Logo Design Award, and was selected as a jury member for the Exhibition of Graphic Products in 2004. Basarir's photographs have been exhibited at Edisyon, Istanbul (2010); ...için Sanat, Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Centre, Istanbul (2005); and IFA Galleries in Stuttgart and Berlin (2004). His selected design works include the Istanbul European Capital of Culture identity design (2010), the Kent typeface for Istanbul’s city identification system (2006), and innumerable book and exhibition catalogue designs. Basarir recently designed Contemporary Art in Turkey, 1986–2006 by Halil Altindere and Süreyyya Evren. Basarir is the cofounder of design and consultancy company Pakt and the independent artists' gallery Edisyon, among others.
Özge Güven studied graphic design at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, completing both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. During this time, she also took part in a placement program with Ontwerpwerk Multidisciplinary in their Graphic Design Department. She has previously worked at Emre Senan Design and Consultancy, alongside Emre Senan, for both their clients and the Yahsibey Design Workshops. During this time, Güven also worked as a freelance designer for her own clients, and occasionally collaborated with other designers on special projects. At Iletisim Publishing, she created a new brand identity for the company and also designed various book covers. In addition, she has worked at Serdar Benli Design Studio, MAT Design, and Lava Design Amsterdam, and is currently working as an art director at TBWA/Istanbul. Her work has garnered awards from the Association of Turkish Graphic Designers, the European Design Awards, the Crystal Apple, Kirmizi Best in Print, MediaCat Felis, and EPICA, and has been shortlisted at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Okay Karadayilar graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University's Visual Communication Design Department. He cofounded Imkanmekan, a thought platform for design in/of public space; Bandrolsüz, a collective of independent artists’ books publishers; and Book Lab, an annual book design event. He has been working independently, mostly in the cultural field, and he values sincerity above all in every branch of communication.
Sarp Sözdinler studied computer engineering at Bahcesehir University, and later, graphic design at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts. Sözdinler has worked and lived in Belgium, Italy, Vienna, and Istanbul. After various jobs at studios, such as Base Design in Brussels and VtwoB in Modena, as well as working with designers in Turkey, such as Bülent Erkmen, Mehmet Ali Türkmen, Haluk Tuncay, Pemra Ataç Açiktan and Asli Altay, he founded his solo design studio in May 2014. His clients include the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the de Singel Arts Campus in Antwerp, Xavier Hufkens Gallery in Brussels, and the Ministry of Sound in London, along with Mamut Art Project, the Istanbul Modern, SALT, the Borusan Music Centre, Art International, Contemporary Istanbul, Pozitif Live, and SAHA. He is currently heading to New York to work for the design studio, Sagmeister&Walsh.
Evangelos Kotsioris is a PhD candidate in the History and Theory of Architecture Program at Princeton University’s School of Architecture. His research focuses on the intersections of architecture with science, technology, and media. Kotsioris graduated with first class honors from the School of Architecture at the AUTh and earned his MArch II from Harvard University’s GSD. Previously, he worked at OMA-AMO in Rotterdam. He is cocurator of the ongoing collaborative research project Radical Pedagogies, which was awarded a Special Mention at the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture. Kotsioris's writing has appeared in the Architectural Review, New Geographies, Volume, Conditions, On Site, and Pidgin, among others. His design work has been featured in exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale of Architecture, the World Triennial of Architecture, the 6th Biennale of Young Greek Architects, GREAT 2013, and in publications such as the GSD Platform, Conditions, Frame, and Mark.
Iván López Munuera is a contemporary art and architecture critic and curator, and a PhD candidate in the History and Theory of Architecture Program at Princeton University. He explores the inscription of contemporary art in the critical context of the social sciences and mass media studies. Munuera has worked as a curator, and held positions of documentation and management in institutions, such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, ACAX (Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange), the Ludwig Museum, CA2M, Matadero Madrid, ARCO, the MAPFRE Foundation, Comunidad de Madrid, Fundació Suñol, and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo or Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales. He has curated, among other exhibitions, The Dark Side Of The Party, Festival SOS4.8, 2015; Fan Riots, Festival SOS4.8, 2014; Pop Politics: Activisms at 33 Revolutions, CA2M, 2012–13; El Ranchito, Matadero, 2010–12; Circuitos MMX, Comunidad de Madrid, 2010; Los Esquizos de Madrid, MNCARS, 2009; Fundació Suñol, 2009; and CAAC, 2010.
The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) is a nonprofit cultural institution that was founded in 1973. The general objectives of the Foundation are to make Istanbul one of the world's foremost capitals of culture and the arts; to create continuous interaction between national and universal values and traditional and contemporary values via culture and the arts; and to contribute actively to the development of cultural policies.