Shai Akram

Kingston University

Shai-akram-mainShai Akram is a designer, educator and researcher based in East London. She has an ongoing fascination with culturally or geographically specific making techniques and an enduring obsession for natural and scientific phenomena.


During her MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art (2006) she developed an approach to design that explored the connection between material culture and visual language. She has been asked to bring this approach to a wide range of projects in China, New Zealand, North America, Russia and across Europe.


Since graduating, Shai co-founded Studio Alt Shift with partner Andrew Haythornthwaite. Studio Alt Shift is a design studio focused upon material research and production of spaces and objects.


The design studio works with clients across the entire process from conceptual direction to final production and installation. Completed projects range from physical outcomes such as commercial interiors (The Chin Chin Laboratories, London), furniture ranges, (Bench Seats and Things, produced for The Book Club with Turners and Moore), exhibition design (AHEC | SKN gallery) and product ranges (Acland Homeware, NZ).


Research-based projects include conceptual / visualisation proposals (ThinkDO Camp – Marks and Spencers, UK), invited residencies (ARCO Furniture, NL) and experimental material research (Corian DuPont, IT). Their work is held in the permanent collection at the Design Museum, London and MoMA, New York and has been published internationally.


Shai also enjoys teaching onto under-graduate, post-graduate and research programs at a range of institutions including UAL and the RCA.