Istanbul Design Biennial, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), and Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Istanbul launch an open call to young designers from the Netherlands and Turkey who are interested in forming new networks through a virtual residency programme.

Under the programme titled ‘Designing into the Future’, 5 emerging designers from Turkey and 5 from the Netherlands will be chosen to meet virtually in a curated chat room, exchange experiences and learn from each other between 31 August and 7 September 2020. The aim is to create a virtual platform to rethink design practices for the future that could transform everyday life in local contexts for the better in a sustainable way. The title ‘Designing into the Future’ emphasises design as a tool to respond to day-to-day urgencies with relevant and creative objects and environments that build trust for the future.

The virtual residency programme will invite young designers from all design fields who are interested in sharing their work or ideas that immediately respond to daily life urgencies. Designers who embrace a collective sensibility in their work and who are eager to discuss their ideas and practices for a thoughtful future are welcome to apply until 14 August 2020.

Why a virtual residency programme?

Istanbul Design Biennial Director Deniz Ova on the motives and objectives of the virtual residency programme:

‘Design plays a major role in our daily life. It encourages us to question our habits and how we relate to the environment, consumption and different forms of solidarity. In the midst of a time that imposed physical restrictions, our daily practices feel inadequate. As a response, we urge ourselves to transform our ways of production and communication. We need to redesign our future by sharing experiences, knowledge, skills, stories, ideas and resources, but all the more important, in a sustainable, accumulative way. 

In this exceptional phase of physical confinement, it is very difficult, especially for young designers to share their ideas and work. With no creative network that are traditionally provided by institutions currently under lockdown, it is an exhausting process for young designers to share and realise their ideas, and form international connections. In an attempt for a solution and hopefully to set an example, we are trying to establish a virtual residency programme titled ‘Designing into the Future’ that will support young minds by helping them develop their practice, inspire and get inspired, and connect with new virtual networks. The residency is based upon peer-to-peer learning and aims to foster reflections on new ideas and stimulate an intercultural dialogue through design.’ 

Cultural attaché for the Netherlands in Turkey Quirine van der Hoeven emphasises the contribution of co-design and cultural exchange for a future-proof society:

To create meaningful solutions for societal challenges, the core method of the Consulate General is co-design. The goal of our co-design programme is to create platforms for connection and communication, and strengthen the existing collaborations between Turkey and the Netherlands. We bring together different perspectives to find answers to challenges under the topic of liveable cities.

We are excited to collaborate with İKSV on this virtual residency programme which promotes international cooperation and cultural exchange. By supporting exchange between designers from Turkey and the Netherlands, we create more room for the arts to contribute to a future-proof world and underline the important role designers play in this.’

The programme

The programme consists of a 1-week virtual residency which will take place on 31 August – 7 September, accompanied by 5 online lectures on Zoom. During these online lectures, academics and experts will share their industrial knowledge, while participants will be able to acquire new skills, knowledge and capacity to develop ideas and models for new projects.

Over the period of one week, residents will be able to meet via a private chat room and present their ideas to each other. A Slack channel will give the opportunity to stay in touch and ask for instant exchange. Every designer will be able to present and share their workflow and process in a design diary. Those who are interested in presenting their ideas and practices will have the opportunity to communicate them as visual essays on the Istanbul Design Biennial’s Instagram account.

10 selected participants will be awarded 300 Euros each to initiate and develop their projects.

Application criteria 

10 participants (5 from the Netherlands, 5 from Turkey) will be selected via an open call.

Designers under 30 who live and work in the Netherlands or Turkey, and who have an undergraduate degree in any field of design are eligible to apply.

Relevant fields of design include, but are not limited to:

Fashion Design, System Design, Interior Design, Product Design, Communication Design, Architecture

Call closes: 14 August 2020

Announcement of results: 24 August 2020

Residency period and online lectures: 31 August – 7 September 2020

Visual essays shared: 7–13 September 2020

Selection Criteria

Applicants should be able to work in a digital space and think beyond the physical experience.

Applicants applying to the Virtual Residency Programme should provide the following documents:

  1. Less than a page long motivation letter including the field of interest
  2. A visual portfolio of designs from past projects
  3. A 200-word (max.) biography including details of where the previous projects are based

Applications should be sent as a single PDF with the name of the designer.

To apply: