Stigmergy Family Studio is an educational experiment conceived as an evolving archive

On display at the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, the project initiated by Martina Muzi uses design as a complementary language to traditional critical practices.

The Stigmergy-Family-Studio project is an educational experiment set up by the Italian designer Martina Muzi, on show at the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial until 4 November 2018. The first stage of this process of structuring and deconstruction of knowledge was created together with students from the Course of Social Design from the Design Academy of Eindhoven. Between January and September 2018, Muzi and eight students examined the contemporary expression of Chinese, Turkish and Dutch design, recreating a contemprary Silk Road.

The research analyses 21st-century productive and commercial ecosystems, and derivative social systems, and emerges in multiform situations which range from manufacture to family-run businesses in Istanbul to large-scale digital commercial platforms such as Alibaba.

The course has been set up as a continuously-transforming archive. An initial set of materials, case studies and tests have been re-elaborated for the construction of a physical prototype. In the analysis of reality, design is a language which compliments traditional instruments of criticism, and the formulation of a project, or rather the designing of an object, is only part of a wider-ranging way of thinking. The work carried out by the students has been stored in a digital platform and will serve as the cue for the next stage of experimentation.

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