I am Serveh Naghshbandi, the founder of DesignEd Atelier, which is a design studio that explores new spaces in the emerging design landscapes in research, learning, and teaching contexts.
Over the past two decades, I have been working as a design practitioner, design educator, and design researcher in four different countries in three continents. I have observed and experienced shifts, re-framings, and connections in different areas of design, all of which suggest a move from designing of things through conventional approach towards designing informed by interactions with people and systems through a participatory approach. These changes have propelled design from designing for people to designing by people and with people. They have altered my perceptions about design and challenged my assumptions about my responsibilities as designer. Having been trained as an industrial designer, I started my professional journey with a designing-for mindset and later, I gradually moved towards a designing-with/by mentality.
During the last fifteen years, I have moved away from the design of “things” through conventional approaches to a more participatory design methodology that directly engages with the public. As a design researcher and educator, I explore socially-engaged art/design practices to produce creative and culturally-responsive learning environments. I also see “designing” beyond the production of material goods and enjoy it as production of ideas too.
My multilingual and multicultural identity has helped me develop more empathy for diverse perspectives, which positions my work well within the multicultural contexts. This ability aligns with human-centered approach to design, which suggests the process of design begins with gaining empathy through observing and listening to stories.