Silvie Jacobi

Dr Silvie Jacobi


Silvie Jacobi

Dr Silvie Jacobi


Dr Silvie Jacobi – Researcher in Art Education and the Art World

Arts and culture, once minor concerns for urban development compared to transportation, crime and economic growth, now provide a complex and often contradictory grammar for urban policies. For example, it is often the very aesthetic and cultural capital through which artists uplift a city or neighbourhood that puts them at risk of displacement. Should artists be allowed to stay or are artists part of the problem of gentrification? My research reaches beyond these familiar narratives as it uncovers the hidden value of artists' practices for understanding not only the politics between art and space, but also the geography of the art world. I am particularly interested in illustrating how artistic and cultural activity concentrate in specific cities and establish forms of belonging, and how this needs to be understood within the context of a global sense of place.

Key words

art schools, contemporary art, artistic practice, geography of the art world, artists’ spaces, sense of place, gentrification, urban regeneration, community-led housing


Academic background

In 2019 I graduated with a Doctor in Philosophy in Geography, having studied on a Joint-PhD with King’s College London and Humboldt University in Berlin. My thesis ‘Art schools and place’ was supervised by Dr Roberta Comunian, Dr Johan Andersson and Prof Ilse Helbrecht and was funded through a doctoral scholarship provided by the German Study Foundation.

In 2014 I finalised an MSc in Creative Cities at King’s Geography Department, coming from an undergraduate degree in Fine Art Painting (BA) at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London.


Affiliations and Selected Projects

London School of Mosaic (2015 to date)

Art schools and place, PhD Research at King's College London with Humboldt University Berlin (2015 to 2018)

Painting and the Regional, Literature review for Manchester School of Art, Manchaster Metropolitan University (2016)

Kultur | Standort.Bestimmung conference,  Leipzig + Kultur e.V.  (2015)

"Beyond the Campus" research initiative, King's College London with Dr. Roberta Comunian (2014)

Leipzig's visual artists as actors of urban change, MSc Thesis at King's College London (2013 – 2014)


Jacobi, S. (2019) Alternative art schools: Juxtaposing sources of autonomy between UK and German cases. In Macauley, M. (Ed.) Artzine Issue 1 Volume 1, Coventry

Jacobi, S. (2017) Alternative Art Schools in London: Contested space and the emergence of new modes of learning in practice. In Ren, J. and Lugar, J. (Eds.) Art in the City: Worlding the Discussion through a Critical Artscape. London and New York: Routledge

Jacobi, S. (2017). Leipzig’s Visual Artists as actors of urban change. In Murzyn-Kupisz, M. & Dzialek, J. (Eds.), Artists and the challenges of contemporary urban development. Springer

Jacobi, S. (2016). Beyond the art school: pedagogic networks in the visual arts and their engagement with the city of Leipzig. In Comunian, R. & Gilmore, A. (Eds.), Routledge Cities and Regions: Higher Education and the Creative Economy, London and New York: Routledge

Jacobi, S. (2016) Book review: Cultural work and higher education (eds. Noonan and Ashton), International Journal of Cultural Policy

Comunian, R., Fraser-Ward, L. & Jacobi, S. (2015) Chapter 15 Festivals on the High Street: revitalising business and communities in the UK, In Newbold, C. & Jordan, J. (Eds.), Focus on World Festivals. Goodfellow Publishers

Comunian, R. & Jacobi, S. (2015). Resilience, creative careers and creative spaces: bridging vulnerable artist’s livelihoods and adaptive urban change, In Pinto, H. (Ed.), Resilient territories: Innovation and creativity for new modes of regional development, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars

Comunian, R., Gilmore, A. & Jacobi (2015). Higher education and the ereative economy: creative graduates, knowledge transfer and regional impact debates. Geography Compass 7(9), 371-383

Leipzig's visual artist's as actors of urban change: Articulating the intersection between place attachement, professional development and urban pioneering, King's College London MSc dissertation, 2014


I am membership secretary of NW3 CLT, a community land trust in NW3 Camden. We are working towards community-led housing in this postcode to provide affordable housing for priced-out residents and workers.


Header image: Together with Anastasia Russa I made these crescent shaped street markings for Queens Crescent Market ‘On-Street Testing’ commissioned by The Decorators, 3rd May 2019