Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

By Shonquis Moreno
Dwell traveled to Turkey’s most cosmopolitan city for the first annual Istanbul Design Biennial, discovering a modern heart beating within ancient walls.

Istanbul is a city of chaos, impro-visation, and irony, where a canon of calls-to-prayer ripples through a secular republic five times a day. Megaprojects born of an unsustainably strong economy rule the day: The city is carving a 30-mile canal—a second Bosporus—from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and a cross-continental metro tunnel, from Europe to Asia, beneath the strait. Last fall, Turkey’s first design biennial took imperfection as its theme and gave the world its most comprehensive catalog of Istanbul’s rich polyphony of ad hoc design. This city of 13 million may be one of the oldest in civilization, but its history of modern design is just getting started. Here we take a look at some of Istanbul’s established and emerging talents, along with the design destinations they favor.  

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