5 Wondrous Works from the Istanbul Design Biennial

5 Wondrous Works from the Istanbul Design Biennial

“The future is not what it used to be.” French poet Paul Valéry’s famous words inspired the theme of Istanbul Design Biennial, on now until December 14, and these five conceptual works on display.


LEPSIS: The Art of Growing Grasshoppers, by Mansour Ourasanah
The San Francisco-based Togolese designer proposes that future food shortages and environmental damage created by livestock farming could be addressed by eating insects. His concept resembles a countertop herb garden, or terrarium, and would allow people to raise their own protein source, without the clear-cutting and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the beef industry.



2 N°41 Workout Computer, by Bless
Fashion/design studio Bless suggest a new method for achieving a better work/life balance with this keyboard, constructed of punching bags labelled with letters, numerals and punctuation. Rather than spending a long day sitting in front of a computer and fighting to find the energy to head to the gym in the evening, they suggest you make slapping together your emails a full-body workout.



3 The Decision Maker, by Parsons & Charlesworth
Jessica Charlesworth and Tim Parsons are presenting Bug Out Bags, six fictional protagonists for New Survivalism. The Decision Maker jacket promotes self-sufficiency by ensuring its owner always has decision-making tools close at hand and is ready to make the call with the toss of a die or flip of a coin.



4 Still Life to Living Pictures, by Elena Manferdini
Greeting visitors from the mezzanine gallery of the Galata Greek Primary School, the biennial’s main location, Manferdini’s site-specific work plays with scale using digital renderings, blown up to architectural proportions. Along with living elements such as butterflies, detailed images of the mezzanine itself are part of the work, which floats between flat and three dimensional.



5 Nap Gap, by Jurgen Mayer H.
The German architect answers his own question, “in the future…will you sleep more?” with the insertion of pink noise (commonly referred to as “white noise”), in an installation that encourages “sleeping around” in public spaces. By adding pink light, a few soft cushions, and repetitive sounds, like rain falling or leaves rustling, he offers an architectural framework to restructure sleep schedules.


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