Istanbul Design Biennial 2018

A School of Schools

A School of Schools is a multi-platform biennale that will use, test, and revise a variety of educational strategies to reflect on the role of design, knowledge, and global
connectedness in contemporary Istanbul and beyond.

The amount of information in the world is more than doubling every two years. People know more than ever before. Lifelong learning is touted as the only way to keep a job and keep your head. Chalk and talk, and reciting multiplication tables has no chance against the animated distractions in our pockets. Meanwhile, the machines themselves have started learning too. What will be left for humans to do and which mental faculties remain irreplaceable are hot topics. Is it time to go back to school – and redesign it?

As a space for critical reflection on design established in a historically rich context, the Istanbul
Design Biennial offers the opportunity to question the very production and replication of design
and its education. In 2018, the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial builds on the legacy of previous
editions, in order to reinvent itself and become a productive process-orientated platform for
education and design to research, experiment and learn in and from the city and beyond.

Titled A School of Schools , the 4th Istanbul Design 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. A School of Schools manifests as a set of dynamic learning formats
encouraging creative production, sustainable collaboration, and social connection. Exploring
eight themes, the learning environment is a context of empowerment, reflection, sharing and
engagement, providing reflexive responses to specific situations.

Engaging multigenerational, transdisciplinary practitioners from Turkey and abroad, A School of Schools brings together old and new knowledge, academic and amateur, professional and personal, focusing on the process as much as the outcomes. Together, agents in this complex and ambitious ecosystem will create new knowledge, search for alternatives to implemented systems, and with radical diversity, push the boundaries of the design discipline.

The 2018 biennial will take place from 22 September to 4 November 2018, hosted by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), and its conceptual framework will be announced in the autumn.

Sarah De Ceuster