As part of the inaugural Istanbul Design Biennial (opens in new tab), Domus (opens in new tab) editor Joseph Grima (opens in new tab) curated a large, sprawling exhibition entitled 'Adhocracy'. Billed as 'an exhibition about people who make things,' Adhocracy was also a portal into the ongoing debate about design, ownership, copyright, copying, and the evolution of manufacturing culture.
Located in the former Galata Greek Primary School (opens in new tab), a magnificent piece of neo-classical solidity, the exhibition replaces the sound of chattering school children with the whirr and buzz of 3D printing machines, the worker drones of a whole host of projected future micro-economies.
Grima brought together a selection of projects from around the world, focusing on designer-makers who are subverting the traditional structures of industry, taking production out of the factories and back into the workshop, using open source designs and strategies and the fast-evolving technologies of 3D printing and rapid prototyping.
In many respects, this story is an old one, a return to the days before the industrial revolution centralised production, taking control it out of the hands of the workers and setting up a hierarchical society that valued efficiency over skill. It's also an appropriate subject for Istanbul's debut Biennial; the city's millennia-old status as a bridge between east and west also sees how the passage of goods and labour flows around the world.
Kemeraltı Cad. No: 49
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Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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