Transparent tubes transport note-filled capsules around the west wing of Somerset House in this installation by Autoban, which is Turkey’s addition to the first London Design Biennale. The Istanbul studio’s interactive Wish Machine installation asks visitors to the Biennale to jot down a wish on a piece of paper, seal it in a capsule and launch it into a system of pressurised pipes.
The capsules are first sucked around a section of pipework laid out in a hexagonal outline and surrounded by mirrors, and then out of the room to an unknown destination. Autoban founders Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar based the installation on a pneumatic messaging system developed in the 19th century, as well as the concept of the wish tree.
Notes and offerings are typically tied to the branches of wish trees in a practice followed by several cultures and religions, including Turkey’s Anatolian faith. The piece is intended to respond to the Biennale theme Utopia by Design. It aims to offer visitors hope amid the present crises affecting Europe – from global warming to war and migration.