Test Unit 2017

Test Unit is a cross-disciplinary Summer School that aims to turn talk into action by prototyping ideas in public Space. For a week in June 2017, 49 participants from a range backgrounds and experiences and designed 5 prototypes for Civic House.


Like many cities, Glasgow has a wealth of vacant buildings and sites following industrial decline. As demand for space changes, we need to explore processes that are less capital intensive and quicker to respond to people and change. Test Unit aims to nurture a relationship between people and place through building capacity to initiate grass-roots projects and placing culture, people and education at the heart of regeneration. Over the last 5 years, there’s been a lot of discussion about the development of the Glasgow Canal area. We started Test Unit to activate these ideas and create live-learning opportunities through a week of collaborative work and events.

Civic House has recently been acquired to create a new learning space for progressive forms of city development and act as a hub for the Glasgow Canal area. For Test Unit 2017 we aim to use this building and adjacent site as a live project. Test Unit will mark the beginning of the building’s use as a public space and be a unique opportunity for participants to shape its future. The TU2017 theme and corresponding units have been designed so they can inform the development of this building and site , while ensuring there is relevance and learning outcomes that can be applied beyond this specific context.


Elie Lakin, Jason Bruges Studio
Responsive Lighting:
Using light and technologies as a tool to change perceptions and engagement with public space.

Amica Dall, Assemble
Spatial Occupation:
Modular work & living space, self build practices and ‘bottom-up’ development.

Lee Ivett, Baxendale
Urban Bothy:
Exploring micro tourism, urban dwellings and occupation of urban space.

Neil McGuire, A Feral Studio
Façades and communicative architecture:
Making buildings and sites more communicative through design.

Valentina Karga
Building Collaborative Economies:
New forms of industry and alternative models to develop inclusive growth.




Featuring Test Unit 2017’s five facilitators who’ll be sharing their individual practice and the ‘prototypes-in-progress’ at this mid-way point. They’ll be joined by other leading cultural innovators exploring the central theme of ‘Occupying the Post-Industrial City’,

See videos here


Panel discussion:
Eva de Klerk, NDSM, Amsterdam
Simon Sharkey, National Theatre of Scotland
Hannah Lambert, London Legacy Development Corporation
Jean-Baptiste Roussat, Les Grands Voisins, Paris

Breakout discussion groups with Test Unit 2017 – art, design and architecture summer school facilitators.

Closing session with Ethel Baraona Pohl & César Reyes Nájera, DPR-barcelona

Turncoats Debate: Pop Up? Piss Off!

Diarmaid Lawlor, Architecture & Design Scotland
Penny Lewis, Univeristy of Dundee
Jonathan Charley, University of Strathclyde
Phineas Harper, Architecture Foundation

Chaired by Ambrose Gillick, BAXENDALE

Workshops & events on Phoenix Nursery site & in Civic House.

SubCrawl with Dress for the Weather

CNC and open source architecture workshop with Akiko Kobayashii in partnership Flux Laser & CNC Studio

Publication workshop with Risotto & DPR-barcelona View the publication online here

‘Facades: Not Everything is as it First Appears’ with Recoat

Urban Furniture workshop with Glasgow Tool Library

Test Unit group activities. Discussions, talks and demos showing the prototypes designed and built throughout the week.