2017 — OCCUPYING THE POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY
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 2017 was designed to explore these issues of Post-Industrial buildings through a live case study; Civic House and it’s adjacent site, Phoenix Nursery.
Civic House was acquired by Agile City to create a new learning space for progressive forms of city development and act as a hub for the Glasgow Canal area. Test Unit 2017 came at a unique point to shape it’s future and begin the process of introducing it as a public space.
We invited Jason Bruges Studio, A Feral Studio, BAXENDALE, Valentina Karga, Assemble & TAKTAL to lead units responding to issues of lighting, occupation, communication, alternative economies and urban tourism.
Alongside we ran a public programme – featuring talks, demos and workshops from:
The responsive lighting unit challenge was to prototype a lighting scheme which could animate the area and bring a playful approach to alleviating issues of safety at night, which unfortunately for the team coincided with the summer solstice.
How could we could re-imagine the possibilities for Phoenix Nursery? How could design interventions communicate these possibilities? How can a two dimensional objects inhabit a three dimensional space?
Spatial Occupation Unit has been exploring the idea of the commons as a way of breaking down the false binary of public/private, and grappling with the possibility of growing more collective, self driven and co-owned models of occupying and developing urban space.
Considering alternative forms of micro-tourism on Civic House evolved by the group into an intention that our structure should be used to educate the occupant on the history and impact of the adjacent M8 motorway
BUILDING COLLABORATIVE ECONOMIES
The Institute for Spontaneous Generation has been developed over the course of Test Unit to explore ways of building collaborative economies which question our current notion of wealth and value.