British High Street of Exchanges (with Studio Polpo) [2020 (2021)]

Immersive installation: re-useable furniture objects, props and architectural elements; 9-channel sound

Collaboration with Studio Polpo; commissioned by the British Council for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021

‘British High Street of Exchanges’ was an installation developed with socially-engaged architecture firm Studio Polpo for the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. The pavilion was curated by Unscene Architecture and titled The Garden of Privatised Delights. Occupying one room of the pavilion, the installation explored how social spaces and exchanges are accommodated within and alongside retail units and commercial transactions. Whilst Polpo were responsible for the design and fabrication of the physical structures of the installation as well as the conceptual groundwork, I worked in collaboration with them to develop the sonic components by gathering examples of diverse high street exchanges in Sheffield: conversations in a hairdressers that embody practices of care; sounds from activities at Foodhall, revealing the economies and ecologies of food production and consumption; and an audio piece with Ben Cornish and Katherine Quinn exploring libraries as public sites of learning. Soundscapes are embedded within re-useable furniture objects, props and architectural elements. Listening to diverse exchanges is a starting point for a series of actions, spatial strategies and propositions for community-led high streets, which engage in how the high street, as a social space, is understood, developed, used and owned. High Street of Exchanges has also led to subsequent research projects which develop the interdisciplinary approaches, ideas and themes investigated.

Further Projects