Test Unit — 2018
Test Unit is a summer school exploring cross-disciplinary approaches to city development. Through an intensive week we aim to turn talk into action by testing ideas in public space. Each year we inhabit a building or site and learn through engaging with ideas, materials, people and place.
The project is based in Speirs Locks, an area linked to the canal in north Glasgow. It is a post-industrial area close to (but in many ways separate from) the city centre. Since its industrial decline it has gone through significant change. The latest masterplan, which included large-scale building works and huge capital investment, didn’t materialise after the economic crash of 2008. Since then an alternative approach has been developed, placing cultural activity, alternative use and temporary activation at the heart of the regeneration process.
This process is ongoing and Test Unit aims to be a method of ongoing enquiry and learning. Through a week of collaborative experimentation, the summer school will take ideas from conception to realisation through a week long build-test-learn development cycle.
Each year we invite skilled facilitators to lead a unit exploring different themes which address local issues through focusing on a specific site to give a defined framework for experimentation. 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 for all participants, partners, local stakeholders and audiences.
We also programme a public facing events and symposium programme to connect with people who can’t attend the summer school – this includes talks, debates and a symposium for the participants to present their work to local audiences and strategic partners.
How can the act of site responsive making be used as a tool for engagement? Through sourcing local material we will use this as a tool to map/register the social, cultural and economic condition of the area and construct a new scenario for the occupation and use of the Phoenix Nursery site. The methodology will consist of 4 stages – Observe – React – Gather – Make.
The designer Paul Elliman said ‘a school is a building with a school in it’.
Do we agree? Where next for creative education? What would independent creative learning, embedded in place and context, look, act and feel like?
Glasgow’s canal area is bringing its future into collective hands. But how to enact something that is yet to be imagined?
Over the next 10 years the Glasgow Canal Co-op is expected to bring a much needed impact to Glasgow’s canal area. At its start, today, it is a coalition of 12 small and larger actors. What are the most challenging changes to take on? And how will the decisions on these be made?
A week long experiment in thinking through building, without models or drawings. How do mainstream cultures of construction impact on our shared experience of the city, and day-to-day possibilities of urban life? What might building together offer as way of thinking differently in or about our environment?
Image credit: Baltic Street Playground
More details to follow soon!
Test Unit summer school schedule: 17th-23rd June
Want to attend the summer school?
APPLICATION DEADLINE: 14th MAY
Summer School FAQs
How much does it cost?
£350 – general admission
£200 – 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, and for those people based in the Speirs Locks / canal area. If this is relevant to you please select this option and detail your reason.
When will I confirm my place?
Application deadline is 9am on Monday 14 May 2018. 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 within 1 week and notify everyone by Monday 21 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 machinary 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 & TAKTAL with programme and strategic direction from A Feral Studio and BAXENDALE. The project’s role and position within the area of Speirs Locks has progressed through close partnership working with igloo developments, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk about sponsorship and supporting opportunities.