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, Test Unit 2019 invited 26 multi-disciplinary contributors to consider our relationship with materials, along with the ecological, industrial and technological systems that bring them into being.
We opened this year’s programme with a lecture delivered by Aude-line Duliere (ROTOR Deconstruction, Brussels/David Chipperfield Architects), who talked the group through her in-depth research into the construction methods and supply systems in the global film industry – suitably setting the scene for the week’s exploration of material use and reuse.
The week followed with an introductory movement workshop lead by Sinead Hargan and Anya Bowcott and a group surveying and building exercise to familiarise participants with available materials surrounding on surrounding sites in Speirs Locks.
The group was then sorted into 4 Units, lead by Toby Paterson & Raydale Dower, Lizzie Malcolm & Dan Powers (Rectangle Studio), Amica Dall (Assemble) & Neil McGuire. Over the course of the week, each Unit examined different types of ‘material’ – both tangible and immaterial – and their respective flows, to produce outcomes that varied from recording performative walks using GPS technology to the production of a sonic ‘landscape’ that questioned our relationship to context and community.
Alongside group work, we also ran a public programme of talks: a Pecha Kucha talks event and a keynote lecture delivered by Richard Sennett. The week ended with Saturday School, a day of workshops, food and music.
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 Friday 17 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 Monday 20 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.