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.

Summer School Units

SOURCE MATERIAL

SOURCE MATERIAL

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.

LEARNING PLATFORMS

LEARNING PLATFORMS

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?

THE CO-OP PROTOCOL

THE CO-OP PROTOCOL

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?

THE SEVERED HAND

THE SEVERED HAND

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?