Art Maker Lab Learning Center


Art Maker Lab Learning Center

December 18, 2018 - March 31, 2020

Istanbul Modern is facilitating the realization of a learning center designed for children and youth with support from the Istanbul Development Agency. Under the Art Maker Lab Learning Center banner, this space invites children and youth to produce art using new technologies.

Art Maker Lab Learning Center is a specially equipped space that focuses on the artwork, the act of making art, creativity, productivity, exploration and the use of technology. Within the museum, this space is reserved for children and built on the foundations of art education. The center aims to support the nurturing of innovative and creative individuals while addressing technology as a customary aspect of life, and to build children’s sensitivity to art by advocating the interpretation of artworks.  

Designed for 7-15 year-olds, Art Maker Lab Learning Center’s educational programs are developed with artists, designers and programmers. These educational programs explore new technologies and forms of artistic production, the changing role of the artist and the impact of technological tools on the process of art throughout the ages.

Art Maker Lab Learning Center’s education program includes two different educational events: “Can Robots Make Art?” held every day except Mondays for school groups, and on weekends for individual participants, and “Art Maker Lab Meet-up Events” taking place on a selected weekend each month with a total of 15 different guests.

“Can Robots Make Art?” is held every day at 10.00, 11.00, 13.00, and 14.00 for school groups, and on weekends at 11.00, 13.00, and 15.00 for children.

The first of the “Art Maker Lab Meet-up Events” will be led by Bager Akbay, the designer of the “Can Robots Make Art?” educational activities, on January 5, 2018.

The programs are free of charge.

For info and reservations: 0212 334 73 41 or



Can Robots Make Art?”

An educational event designed for school groups on weekdays, and for all children and youth on weekends

Inspired by the formal diversity of artworks, these educational events provide children and youth the opportunity to use educational tools that utilize specially designed mechanical, electrical and artificial intelligence technologies to create art works. They evaluate the possibility of producing art in a manner similar to human production, using traditional technology and computer technologies. Essentially, the program also aims to address the possibility of robots creating and applying art in today’s world or in the future.

The program highlights the use of technology in various artistic media including painting, sculpture, video art and literature, and the transformation and development of technology throughout the ages. Throughout, it encourages children to think about questions such as “Is art an object? Is art a process of production? Who produces art? What may constitute artistic forms? Can art be created in the virtual world? How can art be produced using technologies of the future?”

Developed from the designs and proposals of Bager Akbay, who integrates art and technology in his works, the “Can Robots Make Art?” educational activity consist of five different experiential spaces titled, “Incidental Art, Snapshot, Me All of a Sudden, The Expanding Game Platform, and The Magical Book.”

The program begins with the Incidental Art exercise. This station provides children and youth the opportunity to experienceexpression in contemporary art, randomness approach and its structural elements through three different art technologies: mechanical, audio frequency, and artificial intelligence. The first stage involves a mechanical tool, which allows the user to produce compositions with water-based paint, the next stage involves the use of audio frequency for the development of an image from patches, and the last stage involves a robot that draws using children’s hands.   

Snapshot is the second station where children learn about the tricks of developing a photographic image. In this stage, the objective is to introduce children to the camera obscura, the first-ever technological photography device that uses a pinhole camera, and to assist them in discovering the differences between the camera obscura and the digital camera.

The third station Me All of a Sudden utilizes drama, animation techniques and multimedia applications to develop animations. And The Expanding Play Platform involves the design of models in virtual space and the production of these designs with a 3D printer. While bringing the forms created by children together, this activity turns into a collective project as the installation expands through each workshop.

The Magical Book is an experiential space where the children write the story. In this space, children transfer the story they construct onto the computer, and the words included in the story turn into an arrangement that stimulates different sensory areas with the use of synesthetic software, and in turn get reflected on the pages of the magical book. Designed specially for children, this space facilitates the development of narratives that have an interactive sensory element with the use of technology.


Art Maker Lab Meet-up Events

An educational event that introduces children and youth to role models

Art Maker Lab Meet-up Events aim to bring children together with architects, engineers, designers, artists and scientists. These events begin with a short talk and continue with the program’s lead person assisting children through a short workshop that aims to create a connection between art and technology.

The first Art Maker Lab Meet-up Event will be led by Bager Akbay, the designer of the “Can Robots Make Art?” educational activities. The program on January 5, 2018 will begin with the artist talking about the software and hardware included in the “Can Robots Make Art?” educational activity and the activity’s production process. Following the talk, children are invited to experience Bager Akbay’s designs with the artist himself.


Bager Akbay

Following three years of higher mathematics at the Atatürk High School of Science, Bager Akbay went to Tokyo on a scholarship in 1991 to study for a year. When he returned to Istanbul, Akbay was accepted in the Department of Mathematical Engineering at Istanbul Technical University. In the meantime, he also started acting and performing puppet shows at the amateur drama collective “Dark Theater.” Vitalized by the theater experience, Akbay decided to drop out of school and study design at Yıldız Technical University. During these years, he discovered the relationship between programming and design, and began working and producing interactive content for various agencies. Upon graduating, he started working as a teaching assistant in the department where he received his education. Following four years of teaching, Akbay went to Austria to study digital arts. He produced numerous works regarding physical interaction, artificial intelligence and art. On the occasion of his daughter’s birth, Akbay returned to Turkey and decided to continue teaching. For four years he practiced art and consulting as he continued to teach. After an intense period of working, he established a workshop at Kadıköy Yeldeğirmeni with a group of friends in order to realize his projects, and decided to permanently stay in Istanbul. The artist continues to create technology-based artworks at his workshop at Yeldeğirmeni.

Art Maker Lab Learning Center

Realized by Istanbul Modern with the support of the Istanbul Development Agency in October 2018, Art Maker Lab Learning Center aims to facilitate the development of creativity and innovation through educational programs that focus on the use of technology.

Art Maker Lab Learning Center is a specially equipped space reserved for children and youth within the museum. By highlighting the relationship between art and technology, the center aims to provide children with a perspective that allows them to use technology in their art works. This perspective supports the nurturing of future art enthusiasts. The project seeks to channel the use of technology for creating artistic experiences, and develop productive and positive behaviors while bringing children together with specialists from different disciplines such as artists, programmers, designers and engineers, and to multiply their sources of inspiration by introducing them to creative and innovative role models.

Art Maker Lab Learning Center is launching its technology-based arts education program with “Can Robots Make Art?” and the “Art Maker Lab Meet-up Events”, held every day except Mondays for school groups, and on weekends for individual participants free of charge.

All rights of the Art Maker Lab Learning Center project developed, designed and implemented for children by Istanbul Modern and supported by Istanbul Development Agency are exclusively owned by Istanbul Foundation for Modern Art. Baker Akbay as consultant, and Cansu Cürgen and Avşar Gürpınar as spatial designers have taken part in the implementation of the project activities.

The content of the publications created within the scope of the Art Maker Lab Learning Center project does not reflect the view of Istanbul Development Agency or the Ministry of Industry and Technology; Istanbul Foundation for Modern Art is solely responsible for any and all content.