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Istanbul Design Biennial highlights Portuguese cork

Istanbul 11/11/2014

An event made possible due to a partnership with Corticeira Amorim and a design project by the distinguished international architecture firm, Superpool

Cork is once again the centrepiece of a major international design and architecture event - the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial. Organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) the Biennial opened on November 1, 2014. Over its 6-week duration, it will be a privileged platform for rethinking the role of design in contemporary society and its potential as an active agent for change.

"The Future is not what it used to be" is the motto of the Design Biennale curated by British writer, Zoë Ryan. The main exhibition space - the Greek Primary School - will display 53 creative works from over 20 countries and all continents, arranged across the building's five floors, covering an area of approximately 2,300 m2.
All the design projects share a very pragmatic perspective of contemporary realities and current challenges. The overall exhibition space is greatly enhanced by the presence of cork, a raw material used in numerous items in the Biennial's different spaces, in particular lamps and furniture.

Deniz Ova, the Biennale's director, highlights the importance of having chosen cork: "For the first time in Turkey cork is used in exhibition design and we are enormously happy about the results. The generous contribution from the Portuguese Cork Producer Amorim made the exhibition a unique experience for new innovative design solution. The warm, welcoming atmosphere of the new material surpasses all visitors and made them feel comfortable immediately."

This statement is corroborated by Gregers Tang Thomsen, founder and lead architect of the architecture firm, Superpool, who praises cork's sensorial properties: " As a material that immediately gives a sensation of warmth and personality though highly engineered, cork complements perfectly the theme of the exhibition - The future is not what it used to be." He adds: "Given the chance for the Istanbul Design Biennial to work with Amorim has given us a unique opportunity to create a series of design solutions with cork that would otherwise not be possible."

Corticeira Amorim readily accepted the invitation to support the Istanbul Design Biennial and is the exclusive sponsor of all cork used in the event. This includes supplying different types of cork, in particular expanded insulation cork board (traditionally associated to official Portuguese Pavilions) and agglomerated cork, similar to that used to great success at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London.

Carlos de Jesus, Amorim's Marketing and Communication manager states: "The Istanbul Design Biennial, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), is Turkey's most important design and architecture event, demonstrated by the fact that it's co-sponsored by reputable organizations such as Vitra and Vestel. It's a privilege to see that cork has a major presence in an event that not only attracts widespread international attention, but is also supported by leading players in the Turkish economy - an important emerging market for Portuguese exports."