This online PhD journal collects and disseminates research into artist-led housing and live/work schemes. It aims to share day-to-day mappings and field notes as well as more formal written outcomes and publications.

Artist Live/Work:

Artist live/work schemes provide housing for artists and their families as well as space to make their work. Artist live/work schemes allow artists to live for extended periods of time – beyond the length of conventional residency programmes – allowing them to settle within local communities as active and engaged citizens. Artist live/work schemes have often been used to facilitate alternative or experimental forms of living, through sharing economies or the accommodation of atypical family units.

Research into Artist Live/Work:

My research is directed towards the role that artist live/work schemes play in the shaping of cities and their narratives. I will develop methods to measure the value and impact of live/work schemes and explore approaches to co-interpret live/work, as an artistic practice, with local communities and audiences.

The PhD is a collaboration between East Street Arts (ESA) and the School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Huddersfield and I am embedded within ESA’s head office in Leeds. As well as acknowledging the breadth and range of live/work models though UK and European case studies, I am undertaking a long term ethnographic study of Artist House 45, a live/work project set up by ESA, to gain a detailed knowledge of their dynamics and complexities, and comment critically on their social claims.

About Me:

I have been a part of Studio Polpo, a small architecture practice and social enterprise in Sheffield, since graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2013 (MArch Architecture). With Studio Polpo I have undertaken a variety of projects concerning shared living, including: art commissions, performances, newspaper publications and the design of a large collective housing scheme. I am interested in using interdisciplinary research to understand the boundaries between individual/collective, domestic/urban, private/public, with a view to demonstrating that sociable alternatives to privatisation and atomisation within cities is possible.


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