The 5th Istanbul Design Biennial brings together ideas and projects that seek to define a new role for design based on empathy. As a mediator of emotions and feelings, design is presented here as a practice that takes care as its main purpose. Designers adopt sensitive, diplomatic, sometimes therapeutic functions, with the aim of connecting us with one another but also with the world around us, with other species, with microorganisms, soil, water and even the universe.

Aspiring to carve out a space of responsibility and nourish a culture of attachment towards the more-than-human, this biennial explores designs for multiple bodies, dimensions and perspectives. The projects on display encourage us to rethink practices of care and civility at this critical moment in time, and to collectively build new systems and structures for reconnecting. The biennial offers critical tools and alternative pathways in face of urgent climate and economic crises, a general state of social deprivation and an exhausted global industrial model. Designs for more than one are those that take into consideration not just their immediate user or client, but the many constituents and complex entanglements inherent to any design process.

Views and opinions expressed in these projects are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.

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