Test Unit — Material Flows
Cities are made up of overlapping material flows. At a time of rapid urbanisation, these flows are getting ever faster, denser and more complex. The construction industry accounts for 38% of total global emissions. Waste, water and air-borne pollution exacerbate existing spatial and social injustices and store up environmental problems for generations to come. In this context, it is increasingly urgent that we radically reassess how we relate to the material world: how we extract, process, distribute and dispose.
Through discussion, collaborative research, design and construction, this year’s Test Unit invites contributors to consider our relationship with materials, along with the ecological, industrial and technological systems that bring them into being.
Can we reveal, disrupt or reimagine these flows to create healthier, more resilient, more just cities? Is it possible to create self-sufficient networks within cities, networks in which materials and resources are the basis for means-orientated design? Can we use digital infrastructures to support this?
Responding to project briefs from our facilitators, whose backgrounds span arts practice, design, research, construction, data and technology we will use Speirs Locks as a site to experiment, build and learn. Whether speculative, performative or fantastical, the outcomes of the summer school will contribute to our collective understanding of material flows and their relationship to context, giving us space to think about new modes of production and exchange.
About the project:
Test Unit is an art, design and architecture summer school and events programme. Over an intensive week we create a hands-on learning environment to explore a theme and engage with ideas, materials, people and place.
We provide the space, materials and tools for people to realise tangible projects and test ideas in public space. By bringing together people from various disciplines and skill levels we aim to create an open forum for critical dialogue and peer-to-peer learning. The project is based in Civic House and adjacent sites – we use these as studios, workshops and build spaces. We also programme a public-facing events and talks programme that brings different voices to the discussion and connects with wider audiences in the city and beyond.
Summer School FAQs
How much does it cost? £350 – general admission £195 – student & recent graduate (2 years since graduation) The fee includes: – week-long workshop led by facilitator – access to a workshop with a technician, tools and materials – access to all the Test Unit public events – lunch and dinner Monday – Friday
I’m interested in taking part but can’t meet the costs, is there anyway I can participate? We’re keen that Test Unit is as accessible as possible so we offer a limited number of bursary places for people who would find the fees a barrier to participating. Please refer to the following guidance to assess whether you might be applicable to a bursary place:
• I have limited income, debt or other financial responsibilites that stop me from meeting my basic needs or restrict my expendable income.
• I am receiving ESA/JSA/ UC, DLA/PIP or working tax credits
• I am under or unemployed
• I am a full time/part time student and have little to no part-time work.
• My student fees are creating financial stress that stop me from meeting my basic needs or limit my expendable income.
When will I confirm my place? Application deadline is 10am on Monday 13 May 2019. All applications will be reviewed at this point on equal terms. Early applications will not be given preferential consideration. We aim to review all applications and notify everyone by Wednesday 15 May.
I live overseas can I apply? Of course. We welcome as diverse a mix of participants and contributors as possible. The course will be delivered in English so having a good understanding of the language is essential. If you are selected to attend the summer school and would like to get some recommendations on places to stay while in the city feel free to get in touch and we can recommend some options. We will also be setting up a Facebook group for all participants where you’ll be able to liaise directly and connect to see if there’s opportunity to join up on any travel and accommodation plans.
I work in the industry and would like to include this as part of my CPD (continued professional development) – is that OK? That’s ideal. If you are interested we can share with you our aims and expected outcomes from the project as a whole and if you’d like to discuss specific outcomes you’d be looking to achieve we can talk about this and discuss suitability.
I’ve changed my mind / I can’t attend any more, what happens? If you’ve been accepted onto the summer school and have confirmed your place by making payment, we will aim to find a replacement for your position in which case we can issue a full refund. If however, if your place isn’t filled by someone else you will have to forfeit your payment.
Can I attend only a few days of the Summer School? Unfortunately not. The summer school programme has been designed as a week-long development process and all participants should attend for whole week. We understand that a full week of programme is difficult to commit to so we have a series of talks and events running in tandem to the summer school programme for those who are interested but unable to attend the full week. The topics and contributors will be complementary to the day time programme and tickets are available for single events.
Do I need to have previous experience or is there specialist equipment or materials I need to bring? Test Unit is open to those from all levels of experience and from all disciplines. The methodology that each group adopts will be reflective of the range of skillsets and experience levels within the group. Participants should bring some basic working materials but no previous experience is needed to take part. All machinery and tools needed to fabricate work will be provided and all operational and handling processes will be taught as part of the induction.
Who has developed the project? Test Unit is produced by Agile City with programme and strategic direction from A Feral Studio. The project’s role and position within the area of Speirs Locks has progressed through close partnership working with Scottish Canals and Glasgow City Council.
I work for a company and we’re like to offer support to the project Great! Get in touch with the team via [email protected] and we can talk about sponsorship and supporting opportunities.