Architecture Fringe set to open with biggest ever programme

Salon des Refuses - Collective Architecture’s unsuccessful submission for Active Travel Hub in Dalmarnock

Scotland’s independent annual architecture event the Architecture Fringe 2018 festival opens this week with over 70 events taking place across Scotland.

Now in its third year, the Architecture Fringe was self-initiated by a volunteer group of architects, designers, engineers, visual artists and curators to encourage broader public debate about architecture and design in Scotland.

This year’s programme - created in response to the festival’s COMMON/SENSES provocation - is the largest and most geographically wide-ranging to-date. Taking place from June 8-24, the built environment will be explored through architecture, art, dance, music, live performance, film, photography, tours, talks, debates and a summer school.

Highlights of the Architecture Fringe 2018 programme include:

  • In architecture and public life, we now take certain typologies for granted; in terms of how they look, how they operate and how they are used. We recognise a house as being different from a library and a leisure centre as distinct from a farm. Frankentypes is an exhibition of ideas from five emerging practices, Loader Monteith, Denizen Works, Studio Mutt, Missing in Architectureand iheartblob, exploring how hybrid typologies can be developed to address current and future social issues.
  • Talks by international design critic and writer Alice Rawsthorn,acclaimed contemporary artist Jacqueline Donachie and Stephanie Macdonald of award-winning London-based 6a Architects reflecting on the COMMON/SENSES theme as part of the core programme’s Closing Lecture in Edinburgh on Sunday 24th June 2018.

  • Façades/Fronts. A new dance performance and collaboration between one of Scotland’s brightest young choreographers, Jack Webb, and artist Emily Speed, exploring the relationship between identity and the civic architecture of Aberdeen.
  • High LAND / FEARANN. Abriachan Forest Trustcelebrates its 20th year of community ownership with a day of talks and workshops on cultural and creative activism in the context of contemporary land debates in the Highlands.
  • Salon des Refuses. A449 architects and architect Chris Dobson celebrate rejection and failure in Scottish architecture with an exhibition of works (sourced through an open call) which were never built and competitions that were never won.
  • The Messenger. A new, site-specific installation of four works from contemporary artist Hillary Jackin the Borders Sculpture Park, located in the ornate grounds of Mellerstain House.

  • Themes being explored through the Architecture Fringe programme include:

    • Community Use & Ownership: reflecting the vital and ongoing cultural development of land reform in Scotland showcasing pioneering thinking and action on issues such as land use and community buyout. The programme includes numerous events, talks and exhibitions looking at various forms of community ownership and land use across rural and urban environments.

    • Left Behind By Design: stories and experiences from those often omitted or overlooked from traditional urban planning, from workshops with Glaswegian residents with sensory impairments to a CAD-a-thon that seeks to create a more diverse set of computer CAD blocks.
    • Women in Architecture: with the recent publication of the “Shitty Architecture Men” list, perhaps more attention than ever is being paid to gender disparities within architecture. Voices of Experience host the first Scottish screening of She Draws: She Builds, a documentary on the lives of fifteen female architects; and Urbanistas Edinburgh host a panel discussion on gender and accessibility in the city.
    • New Architecture Writing: dissatisfied with the current state of architectural criticism, Scottish architecture students have been turning to print to award-winning effect. Crumble, founded last year by students from the University of Edinburgh, picked up the Stack Awards’ ‘Student Magazine of the Year’ for its first issue. The Open Architectural Report (OAR) joins the fray this year, launching its inaugural issue—on the industrial shed—during the Architecture Fringe.

    • Andy Summers, co-producer, Architecture Fringe, said: “This is the third year of the festival and the fringe continues to expand in size and geography well beyond Glasgow and Edinburgh, with over seventy projects across Scotland. Under this year’s COMMON/SENSES provocation a number of themes have emerged which include provocative events on community land use and ownership; exclusion and questions of who is missing within architectural discussions; and women in architecture – in terms of representation, visibility and acknowledgement, and also physically in relation to the often-masculine civic context of our towns and cities.

      “From students running their very first events to established practices and organisations challenging existing structures, the Architecture Fringe inspires action within architecture and the built environment in Scotland and is, crucially, the primary vehicle for progressive change in our field in this part of the world.”

      The complete Architecture Fringe 2018 programme is available at

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