The 5th Istanbul Design Biennial, which will take place between 26th of September and 8th of November 2020, will be highlighted by a Portuguese face. That is Mariana Pestana, an architect who works between Lisbon and London and is one of the co-founders of The Decorators, an interdisciplinary practice that creates collaborative public realm interventions and cultural programmes.
Previously, Mariana Pestana worked as a co-curator of The future starts here show, at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London (2018), and in the ArkDes – a Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (2019). She was also the co-curator of Eco Visionaries: Art and Architecture after the Anthropocene, at MAAT (2018), in Lisbon, which is a collective exhibition that continues to travel around. Currently in Matadero, Madrid, this show is expected to be at the Royal Academy of Arts in London next November. The architect has also worked at the Lisbon architecture Triennale Close, Closer, which took place in 2013, with The real and other fictions show and has also curated exhibitions at the V&A exhibition This time tomorrow, which she presented at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.
She is also the curator of Fiction practice, the Young Curators Lab for the Porto Design Biennale 2019. Mariana holds a PhD in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture, in London, and has already taught at prestigious English institutions. According to the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, the biennial will benefit from Mariana Pestana’s «passionate approach», whose «critical reflections on contemporary issues and enquiries into fictional futures are quite intriguing». This is the first time that a Portuguese is the curator of the Istanbul Design Biennale. The 4th edition was commissioned by the Belgian Jan Boelen.