16 November 2015 – 31 March 2016
Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad is a designer based in London. His studio produces work spanning the domestic and public realm, food, games, image-making, architecture and products. Exploring the shifting roles of the designer within complex social systems, he is interested in developing new collaborative models and methodologies that actively engage publics within design processes.
Hashemi-Nezhad has exhibited and conducted workshops extensively both in the UK and internationally, including with the Serpentine Galleries’ Edgware Road Project since 2010, and the Showroom gallery since 2012. He is the recipient of a number of international design awards, research grants (AHRC), fellowships (Near Now, 2015), and is part of Theatrum Mundi/Global Street, an international interdisciplinary research project from London School of Economics which brings architects, designers and artists together to re-imagine public space.
Hashemi-Nezhad graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008 and regularly teaches at Kingston University and Central Saint Martins in London.
Work and Practice
My studio practice is a space where I explore through commissioned and self-initiated projects the role of the designer within emerging and often complex conditions of the city. My approach embraces informal knowledge, everyday technologies, and explores the notion of defamiliarisation as a way of sensing the city anew and outside the habitual sequence when looking at topics like urban regeneration, local manufacturing, privatisation of public spaces, and alternative spaces for outdoor play and social activity.
Existing somewhere between translator, observer, maker and artist, I develop and test tools and collaborate with different disciplines and individuals – from street market traders and craftspeople to local politicians and zookeepers.
Research interests at the V&A
As part of my residency at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood, I am interested in exploring through a series of design proposals and interventions in the Museum and the locality, how the voice of the youth and children who will benefit from the Museum can enter a dialogue often reserved for professional architects, designers and decision-makers.
By reframing what consultation and citizen participation mean, I want to ask how we can inhabit the same space and understand value systems when it comes to imagining a preferred present and future alternatives at this formative phase of the V&A Museum expanding further east.
Furthermore I am excited to begin to explore the archive, looking out for different ways in which play has acted as a permissive tool to express preferred alternatives for living, from informal games and role play to toys and more established play theory.