Ella Chmielewska

MEng(ABD), BA(Hons), MUP, PhD (McGill)


University of Edinburgh

School of Architecture and Landscape


Senior Lecturer

Cultural and Visual Studies


Programme Director

PhD/MPhil Cultural Studies



+44 (0) 131 651 3736

How do objects and texts, places and spatial experiences, language forms and modes of inscription figure in visual landscapes and in visual practices? How do they inform our (visual) knowledges, cultural identities, and disciplinary (sup)positions?


My work focuses on the intersection of city, visuality and communication: relationships between image and text in public space; urban writing and place-marking (graffiti, inscriptions, and signage); place, memory and semiotic landscapes (practices of commemoration, representation and erasure); objects, materiality and place in visual culture.


In my visual practice and in writing, I use photography as a research tool, an active instrument of critical thinking as well as a medium of documentation and presentation.


In my research-led teaching, I consider the methodological potential of the visual essay, multimodal representations and curatorial practices in productively complicating the relationships between the disciplines of architecture and cultural studies. Both my research and critical pedagogy explore the in-between of visual practices and visual theory.


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