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Istanbul Foundation For Culture And Arts

"A School of Schools": Interview with Jan Boelen, Curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial

02:00 - 3 October, 2018

Design, in all forms, is a fundamental part of our daily lives; it's even at the core of the new economy. As a result, design education is such an important topic for discussion that design curator and educator Jan Boelen puts at the center of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial.

As the curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, together with associate curators Vera Sacchetti and Nathine Botha, Boelen questions the role of education in design today -- just as the Bauhaus celebrates 100 years.

In a rapidly changing world with an uncertain future we cannot anticipate what will happen in the next few years, nor even the skills that we will need. Instead, we need to develop "learning as an attitude" to constantly deal with change, as Jan discusses in our video interview.

To address these issues the curators laynched an open call with 753 submissions, from which 120 were chosen to be part of "A Schools of Schools". In this strong response Boelen found projects that "are an answer and maybe already a forecast of a new kind of design where speculation, criticality and relational aspects are infusing the traditional design world, that is making solutions for the issues that we have today."

The 120 participations are organized around six schools which occupy six cultural venues in central Istanbul, encouraging visitors to explore the city while visiting the Biennial. Here are the schools and our picks:

Complete Collection of Participants and Projects for the 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial Revealed

07:30 - 3 October, 2016
Complete Collection of Participants and Projects for the 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial Revealed, Human Helmet, Daft Punk (2005). . Image Courtesy of Istanbul Design Biennial
Human Helmet, Daft Punk (2005). . Image Courtesy of Istanbul Design Biennial

As the month-long 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial draws near, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) have revealed a full list of projects and participants. Curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, the biennial—which is titled Are We Human? The Design of the Species: 2 seconds, 2 days, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years—will revolve around one pressing provocation: that design itself needs to be redesigned.

Presenting more than 70 projects from five continents by designers, architects, artists, theorists, choreographers, filmmakers, historians, archaeologists, scientists, laboratories, institutes and NGOs, the exhibitions will be spatialized by Andrés Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation and spread across five main venues – the Galata Greek Primary School, Studio-X Istanbul and Depo in Karaköy, Alt Art Space in Bomonti, and the Istanbul Archaeological Museums in Sultanahmet. The work of a dense array of international writers, video makers, and designer researchers will also be presented online.