Visiting Artist’s Talk – Jonathan Orlek

For this week's Visiting Artist's Talk, we welcome Jonathan Orlek.

Jonathan Orlek is an architectural researcher and practitioner, interested in the intersections between art, architecture, and ethnographic research. His research is concerned with artist-led organisations and spaces, critical spatial practices, embedded research methods, and collective forms of housing. 

He is a director of Studio Polpo, a social enterprise architecture collective based in Sheffield. His work with Studio Polpo includes The High Street of Exchanges, an immersive installation for the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021, which explored the future of the British High Street. He has also worked on projects for The Hepworth (Wakefield), The Tetley (Leeds), and Bloc Projects (Sheffield), which play with the overlaps between art and architecture. 

He is currently a researcher on several interdisciplinary projects exploring care, high streets, and activist spatial practices. This includes Caring—with Cities and Sonic Acts of Noticing.

About the Visiting Artists’ Talks series

The Visiting Artist’s Talk (VAT) series hosts talks by an exciting range of arts practitioners from around the world every Monday afternoon 2–4pm during teaching weeks.

All of our talks are compulsory for our Fine Art students but are also open to anyone else who would like to join us.

For more information, please email Cesar Cornejo.

Directions to the Conference Auditorium building

Facing away from Parkinson steps: Turn right, go straight down the hill to the EC Stoner Building, turn left down a short hill and go under the building. Go straight ahead until you get to Willow Terrace Road, The Edge is in front of you. Turn left, then turn right into the car park, follow the path round to the back of The Edge. The Conference Auditorium Building will now be visible across the car park to the right.

See the campus map.


The High Street of Exchanges by Studio Polpo, British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021, curated by Manijeh Verghese and Madeleine Kessler. Photograph by Jim Stephenson.