Over the next two years, Arts Catalyst will embark on a series of collective inquiries around the ecology of Sheffield and the wider South Yorkshire region together with communities of humans and non humans* to re-imagine how to live together.
In February 2020, Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad was invited to utilise Arts Catalyst's relocation from London to Sheffield as a point of intervention to test out new organisational frameworks and relationships with the wider ecologies of the city it inhabits.
In dialogue with an evolving group of human and non-human collaborators in Sheffield, Hashemi-Nezhad's designer-led inquiry Co-Hostings will draw on fields such as aesthetics, anthropology and play, to engage publics** within design processes that respond to local environmental challenges.
Through a programme of experimental workshops, Co-Hostings seeks to open up conversations to devise and test out ideas, actions and spatial structures to facilitate mutual exchange in the region.
*Communities of non-humans include plants, animals, insects, organisms, chemicals, rivers, etc.
** We use the term publics to refer to the mulitude of different people and communities that make up what we think of as 'the public' rather than a homogenous entity.
Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad's studio practice produces work spanning scales and disciplines, from designs for the public realm to games, spaces and objects. Drawing on concepts such as defamiliarisation, habit and play, his work develops through real - life projects and methodologies and tools, to critically report on the everyday within collaborative design processes.
He has developed projects, exhibited and conducted masterclasses both in the UK and internationally, including with the Serpentine Galleries; Greater London Authority; Tokyo Metropolitan Government; Shanghai Biennale; Liverpool Biennial; Victoria and Albert Museum; and MACBA Barcelona amongst others. He is the recipient of internationl design awards, research grants and fellowships and has trained at the Royal College of Art where he currently leads a Masters platform focusing on experimental participatory design.