A Study of Artist-Led Housing as a Critical Spatial Practice

Jon Orlek, a researcher who has been embedded within East Street Arts, has completed his PhD on artist-led housing.

His PhD was a collaborative doctoral partnership between East Street Arts and the University of Huddersfield.

Jon researched the provision of housing by artist-led organisations and undertook an ethnographic study of Artist House 45, a pilot housing project by East Street Arts. He observed that artist-led organisations are conceiving of housing projects as both collective artworks and interventions within the housing market and sector. This led him to argue that artist-led organisations are occupying roles that differ from those of other ‘alternative’ housing practices such as community-led housing.

Artist-led approaches to housing don’t nest easily within pre-existing participatory models or coalesce into a coherent housing movement with shared characteristics, demands and goals. In response to this, he has developed new strategies and approaches, rooted in and among the day-to-day processes of artist-led organisations, for communicating, translating, and scaling artist-led housing.

Through his embedded ethnographic approach, he has been able to feed research back to East Street Arts quickly, allowing responsive interventions to be made while Artist House 45 was unfolding.

Jon’s thesis is available online on the University of Huddersfield website.
For more information on Jon’s work visit his website.

Other things!