Curator Jan Boelen announced the concept of the the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial: A School of Schools

The 4th Istanbul Design Biennial will be held from 22 September to 4 November 2018. Curator Jan Boelen announced the concept and open call: A School of Schools.

Beslica Yenilebilir Bitkilerin Cografi Dagiliminin Haritasi. Keith Johnson, 1858 / Map of the Geographical Distribution of the Most Important Plants Yielding Food. Keith Johnson, 1858

In 2018, the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial will seek to consolidate the legacies of previous editions, and reinvent the biennial format into a productive process-orientated platform for researching, experimenting and learning. A School of Schools will manifest as a multi-platform biennial that uses, tests, and revises a variety of educational strategies to reflect on the role of design, knowledge, and global connectedness in contemporary Istanbul and beyond. The biennial will stretch both the space and time of the traditional design event, manifesting as a flexible year-long programme within which to respond to global acceleration, generating alternative methodologies, outputs and forms of design and education.

Map of Antarctica. America Geographical Society, 1956
Top: Map of the Geographical Distribution of the Most Important Plants Yielding Food. Keith Johnson, 1858. Above: Map of Antarctica. America Geographical Society, 1956

“A School of Schools” invites a broad range of designers and thinkers from around the world to explore eight themes: Measures and Maps, Time and Attention, Mediterranean and Migration, Disasters and Earthquakes, Food and Customs, Patterns and Rhythm, Currency and Capital, and Parts and Pockets. Focusing on the process as much as the outcomes, the biennial aims to create new knowledge, search for alternatives to implemented systems, and with radical diversity, push the boundaries of the design discipline. Divided into a call for ‘schools’ and a call for ‘learners’, the open call is twofold. The format of a school is open for interpretation – from a one hour class or tutorial, to an online network or alternative university; from in situ observation and other methodologies, to critical schools of thought. The learners are anyone who would like to participate in a school, and can demonstrate an openness to discovery and transformation, regardless of design expertise, background or experience. The biennial will endeavour to address matters of financial support and other accessibility issues but encourages resourcefulness.

A School of Schools
4th Istanbul Design Biennial
Exhibition dates:
22 September – 4 November 2018
Jan Boelen
Associate curator:
Vera Sacchetti
Assistant curator:
Nadine Botha
Deadline open call:
15 December 2017

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