[AI]stanbul is a project created for the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial taking place in Istanbul between September 22 and November 4, 2018. The team consists of Ersin Altın, Burçak Özlüdil, Augustus Wendell, Amy K. Hoover along with Garry Guan, Satchel Quinn.


How do we learn/teach knowledge of a space/place? “[AI]stanbul: Schooling the Machine” tackles the process of learning  and teaching of a new place by employing Artificial Intelligence. [AI]stanbul is a machine that wants to ambitiously learn about Istanbul. It acquires and appropriates place-based experiences through interactions with visitors/participants. The conversations take the form of both natural language and image-based interactions all of which are tied to an Istanbul map. [AI]stanbul collects and interprets data that relate to broader categories of personal memories, components of daily life, transportation, places to visit, along with a “wish box” that collects what people long for through responding to a number of questions from the ever-expanding list. The installation aims to discover the rather elusive knowledge of a city by “borrowing experiences.” The role of student and teacher is in flux: the machine and visitors/participants learn from each other about life in Istanbul.

The Team

Ersin Altin, PhD, teaches history/theory survey courses and design studio courses. His research focuses on the changes in the perception of the body, home and the city through an historical analysis of the material world from the standpoint of design, fashion and visual culture.

Burçak Özlüdil, PhD, is an architect and architectural historian with a strong interest in digital spatial studies. Her research focuses on the intersection of human sciences and urban/architectural space and uses of digital tools that facilitate scholarship in these fields.

Augustus Wendell, MFA, is a university lecturer and coordinator of digital design program. He teaches studio courses on the design of narrative and interactive systems. His research focuses on the application of digital tools to spatial simulation, analysis and scholarship.

Amy K. Hoover, PhD, is a university assistant professor who teaches a course on digital games and artificial intelligence. Her research focuses on facilitating human creativity through artificial intelligence methods and representations.

This project would not have been possible without the development work carried out by Garry Guan and Satchel Quinn.