The Young Curators Group will be formed of young curators based in Istanbul, working as part of the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial.

This group will be responsible for contextualizing the theme of the biennial locally by connecting to practitioners, thinkers and makers in the city, and establishing links between the programme and historical approaches in Turkey. It is hoped that, as representatives of a younger generation, they may put forward a particular perspective to complement that of the other curators. As part of the curatorial team of the biennial, they will actively suggest, select and set forward projects which they believe add to the narrative and positioning of this edition. They will also be invited to contribute to the biennial’s publication.


The 5th Istanbul Design Biennial is looking for designers, makers, writers, thinkers or curators interested in curatorial practice and design, to take part in a 4-day workshop involving researching, collecting and discussing tools, devices, machines and other objects concerning the production and ingestion of food.

Supported by the #WomenPowerinCulture Grant Scheme of the British Council, the workshop will take place from the 19 to 22 March in Istanbul, and be led by the curatorial team of 5th Istanbul Design Biennial; Mariana Pestana (curator), Billie Muraben (assistant curator and deputy editor), Sumitra Upham (curator of programmes) and İKSV. Curating the Kitchen will aim to form a platform in which knowledge and ideas around the biennial, titled Empathy Revisited: designs for more than one, are shared and discussed. As part of the workshop, a display of kitchen tools will be created. The tools will be further developed by the Young Curators Group, and our aim is for them to be included as an installation at the Kitchen for the duration of the biennial. Building on the themes of the biennial, this workshop is concerned with collective rituals surrounding eating and preparing food, as well as in the collaborative act of making tools for the kitchen – processes often informed by an accumulation of knowledge, across generations.

The aim of Curating the Kitchen is to apply the themes of the biennial to its local, contemporary context; discovering new relationships, imagining new possibilities, and representing and reimagining local traditions and vernaculars. In addition to the practical intentions of the workshop, a crucial part of it will be establishing an environment of mutual learning between the participants and curators, in an environment open to experimentation and open discussion.

Applicants should include a brief text (250 words max.), introducing themselves, their areas of interest, and the reasons why they want to join the workshop.

Successful applicants will be invited to discuss their works, texts or ideas with the curatorial team and receive feedback on 19-20 March. 21-22 March will feature an intensive workshop that will result in the creation of final outputs based on those feedbacks, following one-on-one studies with the members of the curatorial team.

The schedule is as follows:

Day 1: The participants will begin by reading some text materials, being introduced to certain terms.

Day 2: Culinary collections of some museums around Istanbul will be visited.

Day 3: A day of "shopping" for tools that have good design value, are amazing inventions but have no recognisable author.

Day 4: The findings of participants will be reviewed by the curatorial team, both in terms of historical material and as physical design pieces. Participants will be asked to think about why these objects are important culinary tools and how they have informed/impacted local culture.

To apply to the open call, please visit here.

* In addition to the workshop on 19-22 March, participants are also expected to attend the public talk by Mariana Pestana, Billie Muraben, and Sumitra Upham, which will take place on 23 March.

** The workshop will be conducted in English.

*** The open call will run until 4 March 2020.