Istanbul is determined to prove itself as a contemporary art and design stronghold, and the second edition of the Design Biennial takes the city in its desired direction. The curator, Zoë Ryan, believing that ‘design is inextricably linked to every aspect of our daily lives’, chose the future of design as the focus of this year's Biennial. Ryan uses the idea of the ‘manifesto’ to discuss ways in which it can be used to frame ideas, and to explore the new forms it might take in the digital age.
The main exhibition venue is the Galata Greek Primary School, with a few more exhibits at Antrepo No 7 (across the road, next to Istanbul Modern). The former is cleverly set up with each floor acting as a separate ‘department’, each exploring, as their names suggest, the role of design in different aspects of our lives: broadcast, personal, norms and standards, resource and civil relations. It is easy to navigate through the venue as the organisers have done a good job with the layout. Splattered in black on the white walls, slogans such as ‘Will you need to sleep in the future?’, ‘Technology is not magic’ and ‘Can you smell the future?’ create a vibrant feel.