IdeasCity Istanbul was the first international event of IdeasCity. The event was a four-day conference that occurred October 11, 12, 14, and 19, 2012, featuring a series of workshops organized by the New Museum, in conjunction with the first Istanbul Design Biennial and the Audi Urban Future Initiative Awards. The conference was a primary resource for identifying key issues around this year’s overarching festival theme of Untapped Capital and further developed an active network of international colleagues.
As the world’s resources have continued to be endangered, depleted, and destroyed, there has been a need to not only focus on new solutions and practices but to also develop new approaches. Rather than focusing on deficits, IdeasCity Istanbul encouraged an examination of surplus capital that may be under-recognized or underutilized. By exploring the many ways of thinking about what untapped capital could be (people, ideas, networks, raw materials, modes of communication, etc.) the event provided a meeting place for developing alternative thinking as regards new methodologies, new solutions, and new goals.
Taking place at the Hasköy Spinning Factory, located in Beyoğlu, and SALT Galata, located in Karaköy, the Keynotes, roundtables, workshops, and panels brought together diverse participants, including a mix of artists, architects, designers, entrepreneurs, urban planners, economists, sociologists, technologists, environmentalists, and governmental representatives. IdeasCity events expanded the festival’s network, enriched discussion on biennial topics, and engaged urgent issues.