Seminar Program

As part of the Istanbul Design Biennial’s program, a series of discussions, panels and conferences—mainly centering on the themes of the curators’ exhibitions—will be held with the participation of various institutes and organizations from the world of architecture, design and business. Taking place at the Istanbul Metropolitan Branch of the Turkish Chamber of Architects and Engineers, Hasköy Spinning Factory, Akbank Sanat, Istanbul Modern and Galata Greek Primary School, the seminars will focus on various points of view on subjects such as design, architecture, city, society, and social and public space. Program participants include a number of leading architects, theoreticians and researchers such as Krzystof Wodiczko, Nikolaus Hirsch, Ute Mate Bauer, Felicity Scott, Mark Wigley, Prof. Dr. Abdi Güzer, and Prof. Dr. İlhan Tekeli.

Audi Urban Future Award 2012
Organization: Audi Urban Future Initiative
Project Exhibition: 12 -26 October 2012
Haskoy Spinning Factory

In an era where urban space is becoming increasingly scarce, where both populations and the need for information are constantly growing and where communication technologies are getting ever faster, it is time to rethink concepts of mobility and infrastructure. These are the issues Audi wants to address with the Audi Urban Future Award. Hosting the Award for the second time, Audi has invited five architectural practices to develop visions for future urban mobility. The solutions have to be rooted in their respective local contexts and also have to entail some initial ideas for approaching the issues on a global scale. The locations and participating practices are: Mumbai, India (CRIT); Boston-Washington, USA (Höweler + Yoon Architecture); Pearl River Delta, China (NODE Architecture & Urbanism); Istanbul, Turkey (Superpool) and São Paulo, Brazil (Urban-Think Tank). An international expert jury will select the most convincing vision on October 18th, 2012. The projects will be presented in an exhibition at the Hasköy Spinning Factory during the Istanbul Design Biennial from 12 to 26 October 2012.

The Audi Urban Future Initiative will also offer the Idea City Istanbul, a four-day conference organized by the New Museum New York. It is a Festival that explores the future of cities around the globe with the organizing principle that arts and culture are a driving force behind the vitality of urban centers. This year’s topic is Untapped Capital. Further information is available at: and
Audi Urban Futures Initiative is the seminar sponsor of Istanbul Design Biennial

Idea City Istanbul: Untapped Capital
Organization: New Museum New York
Conference: October 11, 12, 14, and 19, 2012
Sponsor: Audi Urban Future Initiative
Hasköy Spinning Factory

Idea City is a festival that explores the future of cities around the globe with the belief that arts and culture are a driving force behind the vitality of urban centers. Idea City was founded by the New Museum as a major collaborative initiative between dozens of arts, education and community organizations working together to effect change. The Idea City festival is held every other year in New York with Idea City Events—satellite conferences and workshops taking place in international cities—held during the alternate years. Idea City Istanbul is the first of these international events, addressing this year’s topic of Untapped Capital. Idea City Istanbul is a four-day conference in Istanbul on October 11, 12, 14, and 19, 2012, organized by the New Museum and held in conjunction with the inaugural Istanbul Design Biennial and the Audi Urban Future Initiative.

Idea City Istanbul is sponsored by Audi Urban Future Initiative. Special thanks to SALT

Thursday, October 11, 7:00-8:00 pm
Keynote Speaker: Amanda M. Burden (Commissioner of the New York City Department of City Planning)
Preview of Audi Urban Future Initiative Exhibition, 8:00-9:00 PM (by invitation only).
Hasköy Spinning Factory, Kırmızı Minare Sokak No. 5, Piri Paşa Mh., 34445 Beyoğlu, Istanbul

Friday, October 12, 2:00-6:00 pm
Idea City Istanbul Panels
Hasköy Spinning Factory, Kırmızı Minare Sokak No. 5, Piri Paşa Mh., 34445 Beyoğlu/Istanbul

Untapped Capital: Structures and Networks, 2:00-4:00 pm
Panelists: Burak Arıkan, Artist; Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, Columnist, Milliyet; Adam Greenfield, Founder and Managing Director, Urbanscale; Yancey Strickler, Cofounder, Kickstarter; Anthony Townsend, Research Director, Institute for the Future
Moderator: Marc Kushner (Architect and Cofounder, Architizer)

Panel 2
Untapped Capital: Collaboration and Exchange, 4:00-6:00 pm
Panelists: Yaşar A. Adanalı, Urban blogger: Mutlukent (Happy City) and Reclaim Istanbul; Rupali Gupte, Founding Member, Collective Research Initiatives Trust; Selva Gürdoğan, Architect and Cofounder, Superpool; Suketu Mehta, Author and Associate Professor of Journalism at NYU; Yasemin Nur, Artist and Cofounder, Atılkunst
Moderator: Pedro Reyes (Artist)
Sunday, October 14, 2:00-6:00 pm
Idea City Istanbul Workshops

SALT Galata, Bankalar Caddesi 11, Karaköy 34420 İstanbul
In collaboration with SALT, the Idea City workshops will explore the themes discussed at the panels on a more pragmatic and grassroots level with regional students and practitioners including artists, architects, designers, entrepreneurs, urban planners, economists, sociologists, technologists, and government representatives.
By invitation only

Better Cities, Better Lives: Cities Changing Through the Architect/Architecture
Moderator: Prof. Dr. Ali Cengizkan
Speakers: Prof. Dr. Abdi Güzer, Teaching Assistant Dr. Arif Çağlar and Associate Professor Hatice Kurtuluş
Discussion Session: 30 October 2012, 6pm

The Istanbul Metropolitan Branch is organising a discussion session entitled cities changing through the architect/architechture as well as providing venues during the biennal. In the mean time, organised in relation to the title “Architects are city changers” which is the theme of the 2012 World Day of Architecture chosen by the International Union of Architects UIA, the discussion platform aims to address different aspects of the concept “transformation” which has become the main agenda of today and aims to discuss the concept “public sphere” in urban space and life from various perspectives and provide new insights. The sessions will address many topics such as the discussion on the roles and responsibilities of the architect and architecture in the transformation process; the questioning of the social position of architecture within the transformation process; the evaluation of the process from the perspective of public rights and professional ethics by aproaching “architecture and urban design” through the concept of commodification within the context of global neo-liberal policies; the discussion of cities changing through the architect/architechture in terms of “public rights” and “social benefit;” the evaluation of “architecture and the transformation of urban design” as a “design product” and/or “process” and the social and cultural dimensions of the process.

What is happening in the Creative Industries Sector in Turkey?
Organizer: Association of Creative Industries Council
Panel: 29 November 2012
Istanbul Modern

The Association of Creative Industries Council (YEKON), founded by non-governmental organizations resulting from the disciplines performing studies in the Turkish creative industries sector, will give information about the purpose and mission of the foundation and discuss their work on the regulations concerning the new Law on Intellectual and Artistic Works within the panel to be organized during Istanbul Design Biennial. In order to unite, as NGOs, to develop the interdisciplinary cooperation within the creative industries sector; to perform actions for common targets; to make creativity a preferred value; and to enhance competitiveness of the sector in global markets, YEKON brings the required actions into question and seeks an answer for these questions:
What are the purposes of YEKON, which is founded by 11 NGOs and about to expand with new members, and what should be their targets? Why does the education system for creative industries have to be more creative, inquisitive and innovative? What will change with the new Law on Intellectual and Artistic Works? What did and will YEKON do for amendment of this law, and what is their purpose? How can creative industries and YEKON provide added value to Turkish industry and economy?

TÜSİAD “From Creative Ideas to Innovative Enterprises” Conference
Speakers: Ümit Boyner (The President of TÜSİAD) and Jeff Hoffmann
Conference: 12 November 2012, 09.30-13.45
İstanbul Modern

The improvement of the competitiveness of Turkish economy clearly depends on the innovative capacity of Turkish business. The conference titled “From Creative Ideas to Innovative Enterprises”, organized by TÜSİAD Technology, Innovation and Information Society Committee on 12 November 2012 in İstanbul Modern, is aimed to bring Turkish business, academics and public institutions in order to share the ways to improve innovative capacity.Today we know that innovating entrepreneurs are key elements of transformation and commercialization of knowledge. Successful and sustained innovation demands a shift away from conventional thinking. In this regard, promoting and creating an environment that enables entrepreneurship for innovation is vital.

In this conference, distinguished national and international invited speakers are going to discuss how to inspire innovation and promote high added value innovative entrepreneurship. Ms. Ümit Boyner, The President of TÜSİAD and Mr. Jeff Hoffmann, a successful entrepreneur and the winner of “Lifetime Achievement Award in Entrepreneurship” from the National CEO Council in 2010, are among speakers. In addition to key-note speakers, there would be a panel session where successful innovative micro and small sized enterprises from Turkey will share their experiences which will inspire start-up’s.

Industrial Design in the Triangle of Art, Craft and Innovation
Organizer: Industrial Designers Society (ETMK)
Panel: Istanbul Modern, 2 December 2012, 14.00-17.00

Today, roles of industrial designers are changing. Industrial design was perceived as a more technical discipline in the profession’s history; however, just as in the rest of the world, today’s industrial designers are more preferred in Turkey as well – for the projects which have a marketing-based view and a conceptual, innovative and futuristic claim. As industrial designers begin to create different fields for themselves under these unstable market conditions, the profession’s limits are expanding. The panel organized by Industrial Designers Society (ETMK) at the biennial examines the intersection of industrial design with art, craft and innovation; their overlaps and differences, as well as looking for the answers of these questions: How should industrial design gain a place in the network of invention, technology and engineering? How are these relations positioned in the world? How should designers position themselves against craft and art, while participating in projects that combine craft and art, and trying to make room for themselves in different fields by designing and producing their own products? Is a craftsman a designer as well, or can a designer be a craftsman, or does he/she have to be? How and to what extent can craft affect design? How close is an industrial designer to these concepts? In which situations does design coincide with art? Can design be “art” and designer “artist” as well? Where should we Turkish designers stand in this triangle, considering the expanding limits? How should Turkish designers be trained, so that they contribute to Turkish economy, find a place in the market and get employed? Should we have a predominant point in this triangle?


Provocative Design and Antagonistic Public Space
Public Dialog: Krzysztof Wodiczko and Ahmet Öğüt
Moderators: Eva Franch (Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture) & Pelin Tan
Public Dialogue: 20 October 2012, 4 – 6pm
Galata Private Greek School

The public conversation will be about the notion of intervention in public space and the difficulties, failures, outcomes, prejudices of the communities, fears in public space. Wodiczko, who is a prominent figure in the history of art in terms of public intervention in context of urgent social – political issues since the 1980s. His art and design practices did influence several disciplines and fields that sprawl from urbanism to architecture. Öğüt in his practice is involved with several levels of public engagements and interventions in both research based and conceptual, abstract levels. Coming from a diverse generation and geographies, both internationally renowned artists will get into dialog, conversation with examples of some their projects.

Promiscuous Encounters – Addressing/Assessing Adhocracy
November 3rd, 2012 14:00-18:00
Venue: Galata Private Greek School

Departing from the Adhocracy “Open Call” statement, Promiscuous Encounters will launch four questions to deploy a conversation. An open discussion will take the form of a roundtable with invited speakers from multiple backgrounds. Everyone attending the event is invited to actively engage in the conversation. In our first encounter, we examined the interplay between the critical, curatorial and conceptual capacities of architecture, as well as when and where an architectural practice is subject to an inevitable and productive promiscuity. With this second iteration of Promiscuous Encounters, we are putting into practice a promiscuous mode of operation by interfering in the Istanbul Design Biennial as a site of criticality. Invisibility, Design, Value and Commons will be under discussions.

14:00 – Greetings / Opening Remarks
Pelin Tan / Joseph Grima
Francisco Díaz, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, Marcelo López-Dinardi, Marina Otero Verzier
14:20 – Seminar Statements
Ethel Baraona Pohl, Ute Meta Bauer, Boğaçhan Dündarlp, Joseph Grima, Nikolaus Hirsch, Ömer Kanipak, Erhan Öze, Felicity D. Scott, Pelin Tan, Mark Wasiuta.
16:30 – Closing Remarks
All Participants (incl. Audiences)

The Promiscuous Encounters is organized by Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices MA program – Graduation School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation – Columbia University and Adhocracy Curatorial Team (Asst.Prof.Dr.Pelin Tan, New Media Dept., Faculty of Communication, KHAS University, Istanbul) – 1. Istanbul Design Biennial


Making City Istanbul
Moderators: Emre Arolat (curator of ‘Musibet’ exhibition of the Istanbul Design Biennale) and Joachim Declerck (one of the curators of the 5th IABR Making City)
Participants: Katılımcılar: Freek Persyn (51N4E), Kristian Koreman/Elma van Boxel (ZUS), Eric Frijters/Olv Klein (FABRIC) and Asu Aksoy
Welcome by Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb (Rotterdam) and Mayor Ahmed Haşim Baltacı (Arnavutköy)
Project Exhibition: 13 October-12 December 2012
Panel: 15 October 2012, Monday 11:30 -17:00

Making City Istanbul Panel meeting, organized with the collaboration of Istanbul Design Biennial and International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) is a part of Making City Istanbul project taking place within the Emre Arolat’s “Musibet” exhibition of the biennial.

The 5th IABR: Making City has been developed as a search for a new relationship between the governance and the transformation of the city, between politics and design. How do we go about making city in the new era of global urbanisation? How do we employ making city in finding solutions for socioeconomic issues? How do we build city for its inhabitants? Can we think, together, about new ways of making city, and can we test these as well? Making City Istanbul project is asking these questions and it is bringing works that have been carried out, as part of the 5th IABR, in Istanbul, São Paulo and Rotterdam that seek answers from different angles. It will be seen during 13 October – 12 December 2012, as part of the Musibet exhibition of the Istanbul Design Biennial in Istanbul Modern. Making City Istanbul Panel will be organized with the participation of the mayors of Rotterdam and Arnavutköy Istanbul. The panel will take up issues with strategies for sustainable city making and will present the strategic vision and action plan that has been developed for Arnavutköy.The vision plan will be discussed in terms of its ramifications for sustainability at the grand metropolitan level of Istanbul. ,The panel will bring together the project leaders and speakers from Turkey, Holland and Europe and will throw up the question of the relationship between design and politics for our central challenge of city making .

The ‘Making City Istanbul’ Seminar poses key question on making better cities under conditions of mega urban growth.

Part One: Presentation ‘Atelier Istanbul’
October, 15, 11:30 – 12:30

Chaired by Emre Arolat, this seminar presents the results of the collaboration between the Municipality of Arnavutköy (MoA) and the 5th IABR in ‘Atelier Istanbul’. Within the Atelier, a Strategic Vision and Action Plan has been developed for this edge municipal area that encompasses all the challenges of sustainable urban growth. The innovative approach that has been developed within the Atelier integrates urbanization, agriculture and water into one productive system, providing a sustainable development trajectory for the area. The developed approach will then be discussed in terms of its ramifications for sustainability at the grand metropolitan level of Istanbul.

Welcome by Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb (Rotterdam) and Mayor Ahmed Haşim Baltacı (Arnavutköy)
Presentation 5th IABR ‘Atelier Istanbul’ by George Brugmans (director IABR) and Dirk Sijmons (curator 6th IABR)
Chair: Emre Arolat (curator Istanbul Design Biennal)

Part Two: Six Questions for Istanbul
October, 15, 15:00 – 17:00

Chaired by Joachim Declerck, this seminar presents the insights and strategies that were developed on the 3 Test Sites of the IABR and places these insights in the context of Istanbul. The seminar aims to generate a discussion on the urgent question how to integrate ongoing urbanization with ecological and economic concerns. Through a series of six questions, resulting from the research and development trajectory of the 5th IABR, it aims to sharpen this discussion.

Presentations by Joachim Declerck, Freek Persyn (51N4E), Kristian Koreman/Elma van Boxel (ZUS), Eric Frijters/Olv Klein (FABRIC)
Reflections by Emre Arolat, Asu Aksoy
Chair: Joachim Declerck

Curator: Cedric Libert
Discussion Forum: 15-16 November 2012, 14:00-19:00
Istanbul Modern

Curated by Cedric Libert the discussion forums will question Brussels’ and Istanbul’s transformation processes in relationship with the notion of distinctive strata, in confronting various ideas and approaches for contemporary metropolitan stakes. We can notice that recent years have witnessed the emergence of mainly 2 movements: one would be linked to the idea of shaping the city through drawing and the understanding of ‘objectivised’ elements – the importance of large-scale urban forms; the other one would rather be committed to a realization of the city that give preference to local amenities and citizen’s claim – a participative approach.

It is first about opening up and expose the debate; it might be vain to continue to oppose those two visions in a very exclusive manner from one another, as much as it might be relevant to address urban issues with multiple tools. With the idea of undertaking the urban matter through diverging if not opposite strategies (top-down vs. bottom-up), the floor is given to a series of personalities who recently participated in the public debate, in Brussels or Istanbul, and each in their own way produced a project for the city.

İzmir / Sea: Project for Strengthening Izmirites’ Relationship to the Sea
Participants: Aziz Kocaoğlu (Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor); İlhan Tekeli (Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Chairman Advisor, METU, Academics); Tevfik Balcıoğlu (Yaşar University, Academic); Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu (Teğet Architecture, Master Architect); Zuhal Ulusoy (Kadir Has University, Dean, Akademisyen, Master Architect); Nevzat Sayın (NSMH, Master Architect); Tevfik Tozkoparan (Tozkoparan Architecture, Architect); Serhan Ada (İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Chairman Advisor, İstanbul Bilgi University, Academics); Evren Başbuğ (steb | studio evren başbuğ, Master Architect); Deniz Güner (DEÜ, Academic, Master Architect); Boğaçhan Dündaralp (ddrlp, Architect); Seçkin Kutucu (Yaşar University, Academic, Master Architect); Elfin Yüksektepe Bengisu (Event Designer and Culture Manager)
Panel:17 November, Saturday 16:00-18:00
Istanbul Modern

The coastline surrounds the northern Gulf of Izmir, starts from Karşıyaka Mavişehir, continues until Bayraklı, Alsancak, Konak and ends in the South, İnciraltı. The Izmir Sea Project contains the protection of the identity and the reorganisation of the 40 km long coastline as a wide public space. However, the project has remarkable originalities not only due to its size but also due to the process mobilising more than 100 designers, academics and experts to achieve the project. This project, which can be considered the first attempt of its kind in the history of urbanisation in Turkey, is egalitarian rather than hierarchical, contains multiple voices rather than a single voice and aims to create an environment not only for the city but one which will participate in the lives of the urbanites. Different from the top-down projects, most of which are developed for a limited segment of society, this project is an informative experience of how urban scale projects should be developed in such a way that it will be open to debate and broad participation. With a large group of speakers which reflects the production process of the project, a discussion will be held in an informal conversation environment on how the process of developing an egalitarian and democratic project is achieved and what this process can teach us.

Objects and Craft – A New Paradigm for the Digital Age
Moderator: Ferda Kolatan (University of Pennsylvania, PA)
Participants: Graham Harman (American University, Cairo), Jason Payne (UCLA, CA), Rhett Russo (NJIT, NJ), David Ruy (Pratt Institute, NY)
Panel: 23 November 2012, 16.00-18.30
Istanbul Modern

Over the past two decades the “digital revolution” has transformed our cultural landscape on a global scale. Following a century of modernist agendas dominated by mechanization and globalization, the advent of computation held the promise of a different ethic, one that favors specificity, authenticity, and individual expression over modes of standardization and efficiency.

However, today we see this promise severely compromised by an even more rapid trend to homogenize design expression into a disembodied universal brand. This often results in “spectacular” designs that are accessible only to a small group of design aficionados while leaving most others feeling uprooted and culturally alienated. This sense of loss is further aggravated by the still prevalent postmodernist emphasis on relationalism and language, which defines all things through their ties to other things and through translations rather than through a real, material identity.

In opposition to this tendency a powerful alternative has been emerging in recent years in the work of a small group of thinkers and architects who look to define their work based on materiality, digital craft, and ambient effects. The panelists, who are leaders in their respective fields of philosophy and speculative architecture, will show their work and discuss the potentialities of this new paradigm, as it refers to our current cultural situation.

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