Step inside ‘The Wish Machine’, Turkey’s pavilion at the London Design Biennale

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (iKSV) will present ‘The Wish Machine’, designed by Istanbul-based design studio Autoban, as Turkey’s contribution to the inaugural London Design Biennale, in response to the theme of ‘Utopia by Design’.

The installation takes inspiration from the ‘wish-tree’ – a cultural tradition deeply rooted in the ancient Anatolian faith, whereby people would affix a note to the branch of a tree as an act of hope born out of hopelessness. With this simple act, the tree would become a last resort for one’s hopes and wishes, whereby the notes would be pinned on universal powers in the hope that they could change the

Individual’s life. ‘The Wish Machine’ takes this multi-cultural tradition as its inspiration for how design and utopia can coorporate.


‘The Wish Machine’, Turkey’s Pavilion at the London Design Biennale

The Autoban-designed pavilion, located in the West Wing G1A of Somerset House, appears as an interactive pneumatic system operating in a mirrored space. Visitors will be invited to walk through a tunnel made from transparent hexagonal tubes, before writing down their hopes, wishes, aspirations and visions of utopia and feeding them to The Wish Machine through a designated lid. The notes will then travel through the tubes and out of sight. Much like throwing coins to the depths of a lake, the final destination will remain a mystery.

Autoban founders Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar identified that the biggest problem in the modern world is the inability to express an idea or dream about a more positive future without the constant struggle and chaos of the present. Through ‘The Wish Machine’, they present a proactive solution that permits humanity to dream, motivated by the utopian idea of detaching from all known parameters belonging to the past and the present in order to dream of a better future.

Turkey’s ‘The Wish Machine’ will be joined by projects from more than 30 other countries at the London Design Biennale, which will be at Somerset House from 7 – 27 September 2016. For more information please contact Lucy Price: