The urban bothy brought together a diverse range of participants representing community arts, local activism, landscape architecture, art, graphic design and architecture to conceive, develop and deliver a small place of reflection that could facilitate an overnight stay. The form, concept and purpose was not predetermined but evolved concurrently as the group commenced work. There was minimal formal discussion and drawing; instead a continual process of ideas, testing, making and negotiation.
The original brief to consider alternative forms of micro-tourism was 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, to act as a sensory register and to ultimately reconsider the motorway as an object worthy of worship. As with all objects of worship the motorway inspires both fear and devotion; an object simultaneously of connection and division.
As architecture the urban bothy creates a small scale civic presence that acts as a landmark, a point of orientation and an invitation. It responds to its immediate site; being responsive to existing plants and features and responds the wider context framing views and responding to routes and threshold. The making of this project has taught the group basic construction skills but much more importantly an attitude to making that is rooted in the value of ideas and agency. As the week progressed the requirement for tuition, supervision and instruction incrementally reduced to the point that my own involvement as a facilitator became redundant; which should be the ultimate aim of anyone endowed with a level of power and responsibility.