Istanbul Design Biennial opens its doors on October 13th for two months.
Istanbul is one of the largest cities in the world and one of the most attractive! In this transcontinental city the commercial and historical center lies in Europe, while a third of its population lives in Asia.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque
The Fatih district corresponds to what was, until the Ottoman conquest, the whole of the city, across from which stood the Genoese citadel of Galata. Those Genoese fortifications were largely demolished in the 19th century, leaving only the Galata Tower, to make way for northward expansion of the city. Galata is now a part of the Beyoğlu district, which forms Istanbul's commercial and entertainment center.
Istanbul is primarily known for its Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, but its buildings reflect the various peoples and empires that have previously ruled the city. Examples of Genoese and Roman architecture remain visible in Istanbul alongside their Ottoman counterparts. One of Istanbul's most iconic structures, is Hagia Sophia: topped by a dome 31 meters in diameter, it stood as the world's largest cathedral for more than a thousand years, before being converted into a mosque and, as it stands now, a museum.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque
The imperial mosques include Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque), Süleymaniye Mosque, and Yeni Mosque, all of which were built at the peak of the Ottoman Empire, in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the following centuries Ottoman architecture was supplanted by European styles. Areas around İstiklal Avenue were filled with grand European embassies and rows of buildings in Neoclassical and Renaissance Revival styles, which went on to influence the architecture of a variety of structures in Beyoğlu.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Beyoğlu and Galata Tower

Uniqueness and strength of the city lies in the fact that new generations have been educated in Western way but they grew in the Oriental way.
Istanbul was historically known as a cultural hub. When additional universities and art journals were founded in Istanbul during the 1980s, artists formerly based in Ankara moved in. Beyoğlu has been transformed into the artistic center of the city, with young artists and older Turkish artists formerly residing abroad finding footing there. Modern art museums, including İstanbul Modern, the Pera Museum, and Santralistanbul, opened in the 2000s to complement the exhibition spaces and auction houses that have already contributed to the cosmopolitan nature of the city. 
The İstanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey’s first private museum to organize modern and contemporary art exhibitions, was founded in 2004. In the 13th century, various Italian trading colonies located in Istanbul began to build harbours in the region. One of these was the Genoese port built in the Tophane district.  By the 17th century, the Karaköy-Tophane waterfront had become the main arrival point for ships coming in from Europe. The current building was constructed as a warehouse during the realization of the 1957-58 Project, which was designed for Tophane Square by the architect Sedad Hakkı Eldem.  Tabanlioglu Architects converted the original building into this Museum. With its permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, the photography gallery, new media area, library, cinema, educational programs, gift store, and restaurant, İstanbul Modern encourages a creative and interactive museum experience for its visitors.
Before restoration and conversion Santralistanbul was the Ottoman Empire's first urban-scale power plant. Now it is a sum of many parts: the Museum of Energy; Turkey’s first industrial archaeology; the Main Gallery building, a 3500 sqm space for contemporary art exhibitions and cultural events, which won an International Architecture Awards in 2010; the Gallery 1 building, which houses the Krek theatre and its innovative stage design, as well as exhibition spaces; Tamirane and Otto Santral for dining and refreshment, which were converted from the maintenance workshop and storage buildings of the former power plant.



Nişantaşı is a fashionable district and an affluent residential area. The word Nişantaşı literally means Aiming Stone (target stone) in Turkish. Before the land had been granted for public use, it was an area where Ottoman soldiers used to shoot at target stones for improving their aiming skills. Some of these target stones, which are shaped like small obelisks and have Ottoman Turkish inscriptions on them, are still found on the pavements of Nişantaşı. The quarter forms the background to several novels by Orhan Pamuk, who is a local resident.
Here you can find the first European W Hotel, a big showroom by Autoban design studio and C.A.M.


The Istanbul Design Biennial, covering fields of urban design, architecture, industrial design, graphic design, fashion design and new media design as well as relevant creative products and projects, hosts over 100 projects by nearly 300 designers and architects from 46 countries in two different exhibition venues where curators Emre Arolat and Joseph Grima interpreted the theme “Imperfection” from their own perspectives.

Emre Arolat’s exhibition “Musibet” is in Istanbul Modern and Joseph Grima’s exhibition “Adhocracy” in Galata Greek Primary School. Along with main exhibitions, events will be spread across the city through Academic Programme, Workshops, Paralel Participants’ Events and Design Walks.
In order to enhance participation in the field of education for the events, Istanbul Design Biennial will host exhibitions and projects with various perspectives on the main theme of the biennial through its Academic Program it implements in partnership with 76 departments in 26 universities in Ankara, İzmir, Eskişehir and Cyprus along with in Istanbul. 

The various faculties and departments gathered around the disciplines of architecture, industrial design, interior architecture, graphic design, fashion design, urban design, communications’ design, new media design of universities will present the products and ideas they have developed during the workshops, course projects and competitions on the theme of biennial during the 2011-2012 academic year in simultaneous order with the Istanbul Design Biennial will present these in their own campuses. 
Parallel Participant companies and architecture/design studios that operate in the creative industries will hold their events relevant with the thematics of the biennial at their own venues, presenting their institutional culture to the view of visitors.
Along with prominent Turkish designers, thinkers and opinion leaders, world reknown designers like Marcel Wanders, Giulio Cappellini, Filip Pagowski and Bibi Seck will also participate in the events of the Parallel Participants, the hosters of which include companies and studios +D Group, Arzum, BMS, Camhane, ‚EBİ, Dhoku, Dilek Hanif, Ersa, Collection, Milli ReasŸrans Arts Gallery, Mozaik, NORDist, Tayfun Mumcu, Zebra Design Factory.