a workshop about small-scale production and design

Workshop Theme

How can the Istanbul Design Biennial’s theme: Imperfection, lead through Istanbul? Could Istanbul show us a new approach to contemporary design?

The Istanbul Design Biennial Theme: Imperfection, gives us to chance to talk and re-think about the unique design-production models of Istanbul. Small-scale production areas such as Şişhane, Kapalıçarşı have been located and existed in the Istanbul city center over a long time.  Due to the existence of such areas, we are able to discuss design and production conditions that are specific to Istanbul and a unique act of doing, creating, and an identity that evolve from their togetherness.

The workshop” More than Design!” will focus on Şişhane district which has a small-scale production network. Working on a small-scale production district gives an opportunity to produce easily and quickly an individual product range and an independent brand for a designer.  Within this field, it is possible to produce a limited number of different and qualified products in a short time. In contrast to mass production, a product is formed by passing through many ateliers in the district and receiving an input from each. In this model, a production process becomes a production route or journey which is special, unique and directed by the designer. Every step of the design process which is not estimated before is open to interactivity and dialog between craftsmen and designers and is shaped by their togetherness.

The context of the Made in Sishane Project can be a proper laboratory to experience and understand the imperfection. The workshop will try to show this unique model of small-scale production in Istanbul as an alternative approach to the contemporary design world. The workshop sights out to bring together the production potential and creative energy of the various actors in the district and highlight both the production processes as well as the products.  Related to this model and the biennial theme, the process becomes more important than the final product. The visibility of the process and stories behind the product becomes essential. That’s why the workshop will mainly focus to the processes more than the products. During the workshop, the final product/object will be a tool to start a new and different design experience in the field. The workshop will highlight the processes, stories, experiences and in short: the complex relationships that are important but invisible, and there for the least-known.

The workshop will be directed by the collaboration of Made in Şişhane and Design Quarter Ehrenfeld. The workshop will give an opportunity to observe and experience the design process in the field as a part of everyday life. Related to the workshop, the design objects will be developed for the exact locations in around the Galata, Tunel and Şişhane squares which is close to the District.  All design teams developed a design idea and work for these locations.  Each team has a group of students from different disciplines and an invited professional designer who doesn’t know the Sishane and Istanbul’s small scale production system from Germany as a team leader or/and a mentor. The workshop will give a chance to the students and the professional designers to experience design&small-scale production relations in Istanbul. Both of them will guide by the partner of the workshop: Made in Şişhane and the network of the district in itself. During the workshop their experiences in the field with the craftsmen will collect by different mediums like film, storyboards, and sketches. The workshop results will cover the products and the documentation of the process. The results as a reflection about the role of design in society will be exhibited in these locations during the Biennial time. The purpose of the workshop is to help to point-press-promote the district as a creative district with the designers and the small-scale producers together.

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