Over the next two years, Arts Catalyst will embark on a series of collective inquiries, titled Emergent Ecologies, 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, Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad's designer-led inquiry will draw on fields such as aesthetics, anthropology and play, to engage publics within design processes that respond to local social and environmental challenges. Through a programme of experimental workshops and radio broadcasts, 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 multitude of different people and communities that make up what we think of as 'the public' rather than a homogenous entity.
Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad's design studio produces work spanning scales and disciplines, from the public realm to games, spaces and objects. Drawing on such fields as aesthetics, anthropology and play, his work develops through real-life projects, methodologies and tools to include and critically engage participants within design processes.
He has developed projects, exhibited and conducted workshops and masterclasses both in the UK and internationally, including with the Serpentine Galleries; Greater London Authority; Tokyo Metropolitan Government; Shanghai Biennale; Victoria and Albert Museum; and MACBA Barcelona amongst others.
He trained at the Royal College of Art where he currently leads a Masters platform focusing on experimental co-design.