Sven Mehzoud

Sven Mehzoud

Associate Professor, Spatial Design

Sven directs the Spatial Design Major of the Bachelor of Design and coordinates the research at Ngā Pae Mahutonga, the Wellington School of Design. He has held academic positions for over 20 years, in New Zealand and Australia, and originally hails from Switzerland where he practiced architecture.

Sven’s creative work encompasses exhibition design, scenography, and interior architectural design. Recent work investigates how narratives are constructed in museum exhibitions representing the history of communities and their politics, and how narratives of underrepresented communities can be generated and communicated through performance-based interpretation experiences. Works and research outputs include commissioned or invited exhibition designs, curatorial projects, urban festival designs, and collaborations with councils and community groups. Publications include book chapters, exhibition catalogue contributions, journal research articles and conference contributions.

  • Expertise

    Spatial design, interior architecture, exhibition design, scenography, museum studies and performance studies.

  • Recent research successes

    Community narrative exhibition designs, Mildura Arts Centre, Australia (2016-2019)
    As part of my more recent design research practice, I undertook a range of exhibition design projects at the regional Mildura Arts Centre, MAC (Victoria, Australia). It presented artists’ retrospectives, narratives of place and Country as well as migration narratives, all of which centred around the community of Mildura. The research largely focussed on the strategies for co-authorship to develop multivocal exhibition narratives and experiences. The exhibitions were: Interpretive wonderings (2016); Graeme Drendel: silos and silence (2016); Wes Walters: the art of the precursor (2018); and Making home: Mildura migration stories (2019).

    Focus Issue: Interpretive Wonderings for Curator: The Museum Journal (2019)
    The intercultural community engagement art and exhibition project Interpretive Wonderings (2016) was published as a dedicated Focus Issue of Curator: The Museum Journal. The project consisted of three interrelated events: the Mapping Culpra Station Workshop (VIC, AUS), the Interpretive wonderings exhibition (Mildura, VIC, AUS) and the Migratory wonderings exhibition (Sydney, AUS). My role in this partnership project included curatorial and exhibition design contributions. The Focus Issue consisted of a set of interrelated single and co-authored writings that attempted to provide a “distinctive, multi‐perspectival account” of the project. These were: Collected reflections (with Drake, C., Gilbert, J., Mehzoud, S., & Pearce, S.), Curatorial design at the cultural interface: mapping Culpra Station (with Drake, C., Dziekan, V., Gilbert, J., Mehzoud, S., Pearce, B., & Pearce, S.), and Scenographic exhibitions as spaces of encounter (sole author: Mehzoud, S.).

    More research outputs can be found here

  • Qualifications

    • PhD (University of Technology Sydney)
    • MDes (Massey University)
    • BDes (Victoria University of Wellington)
    • BA Arch. (HTL - Winterthur Polytechnic)