things with soul


City Nomads 2017

A Chest of Future Memories: Dialogues Around Contemporary Design in Kazakhstan

In October 2016 MA Curating Contemporary Design students (Kingston University in partnership with the Design Museum, London) started work on a curating project with the British Council. Their brief was to explore Kazakh design and its emerging identity and to develop the curatorial concept for a small-scale touring exhibition. The project was inspired by an earlier project initiated by the British Council in 2015 called City Nomads.

The student groups presented five strong and varied curatorial concepts. The winning group developed a project called A Chest of Future Memories: Dialogues Around Contemporary Design in Kazakhstan. In February 2017 the group were invited by the British Council to travel to Almaty to undertake primary research to define the local modern symbols and cultural codes for today’s City Nomads living and working in Kazakhstan.

The outcomes from the research project have informed a curatorial concept for the project. The project will initiate a series of collaborations across design disciplines with a strong focus on local identity in a contemporary context.


The modern City Nomad spends a lot of their time in transit - on buses, trains or airplanes, so he need compact and light staff. This project shows how designer in Kazakhstan are exploring the past to find ways into the future, in order to engage with new materials, processes and manufacturing techniques.

I designed a tableware that doesn't take up a lot of space and can change form depend on situation. This is circle with a special incisions to help transform from plate to soup-plate or to glass and fixed by wooden circles with different diameters. 

These set of dishes made by leather manufactured in the traditional way, which was used in ancient times by Kazakhs.

This research as a rethink of eco using resources. We use animal meat for food and we should think about all parts body of this animal and use all of these in our life as it done ancient kazakhs. They used leather for clothes or for tableware, veins and bones for musical instrument or for cutlery and etc. Every body part was used consciously.

Astana International Museum
Astana International Museum