© Hefin Jones
14 September 2017
Design Connections 10x10 will return this year on Tuesday 19 September, showcasing a selection of the best emerging design talent in the UK. We caught up with speaker Hefin Jones to find out more about his practice.
Hello Hefin, tell us about yourself. . .
I’m a designer with a participatory design practice. My work involves collaborating with people to create new possibilities for their skills, culture, and locality. For The Welsh Space Campaign I worked with traditional craftspeople, musicians, plumbers, clog makers, wool weavers, and others throughout Wales, to collaboratively produce a spacesuit. Cosmic Colliery, a project I produced during the Design Museum's Designer's in Residence programme in 2015, engaged ex-mining communities in the Rhymney Valley with the possibility of the local abandoned Penallta Colliery becoming an underwater astronaut training centre.
My practice is grounded in a process called participatory speculation. This involves an immersive approach in an environment to understand the people, cultures, expertise, histories, material culture, and infrastructure. This knowledge is then reconfigured with the involved people through the creation of artifacts, performances, and films, which provide the means to speculate on new possibilities for that environment.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently a visiting tutor in the Department for Design at Goldsmiths University of London, and Freelance Programme Producer for the Design Museum’s Young Creatives programme; a programme for young people aged 14-19, they meet and work alongside designers on projects, develop new interests and skills and explore their ambitions. Alongside this, I’m developing a series of proposals that seek to challenge narratives that relate the countryside to notions of tradition and inaction. Instead, I’m interested in exploring the countryside as a site for cultural production and action.
Tell us about something you’ve seen that’s inspired you recently?
I recently returned to my hometown of Cardigan in West Wales and met with local creative practitioners, tradespeople, educators, and politicians, who are all working hard to contribute towards the cultural progression of the area.
Tell us about something you’ve worked on that’s made you feel proud.
I’m proud of all the projects I’ve done because in a small way they’ve offered an insight into communities which are not always visible, or which may not be fully understood from the outside.