We are all so much more aware of the context within which we operate. The old boundaries of professionalism and experience, which were the route map to guide our actions, whilst still operating, have to be seen against a backdrop of innovative communication, fresh collaborations and novel performance. In short the rules of engagement are being rewritten.
And what better way to open up to these opportunities than to listen in to what is out there. Starting this process close to home we asked recent graduates who have joined us to present their degree and diploma thinking and projects. The fascinating result confirmed the future lies in the collective sharing and thrust of many voices.
David Wyllie described the idea that healing conflict zone boundaries starts in function not form. In defining what he termed ‘the international language of functionality’ - sport, education and health spaces – the platform for mediating the interaction of communities as disparate as in their case studies of divided Belfast and Nicosia might find fruit.
Daniel Tyler’s explanation of the final year being one of making, has emerged to remarkable effect as a pavilion in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. All the more noteworthy is that in winning a Glasgow Institute of Architects commendation for the project, it is possibly the first student project to win an architectural award.
Fraser Maitland’s virtuosic renderings, premiered at this years Scottish contribution to the Venice Biennale brought to life the flat visions of the 20th centuries most avant-garde architectural and urban thinkers from Sant’Elia, Hugh Ferris and Geoffrey Jellicoe - converted into animations - new insights to their thinking emerged.
Catriona MacDonald’s new Northern Frontiers, an atlas investigating Scotland’s place and identity within the northern and new Arctic regions has been a sensation. In rethinking that mapping as a new atlas of Scotland, what once was edge, is now seen as central to a new perception of the north Atlantic as an emerging global trade and activity locus.
Neil Zanstra’s mapping was less physical, more an examination of the social struggles and ameliorative strategies to deal with the housing issues of Dutch cities. Much is made of the edginess of Dutch design, what was reassuring was the sense of a particular concern in its institutions for the real life matters of city life.
Kerstin Plain’s concerns echoed Neil’s, in the study of two edge conditions of Edinburgh, her manifesto argued that that the misconception of these settlements as car orientated settings did no favours for the residents. Rather a focus on the walkability of our environments would support and serve their constituencies in a much fairer and healthier manner.
Lilian Main’s focus was an exploration of the different perceptions of permanence and impermanence of building. From the perspective of architects for the most part we assume ‘buildings’ are forever, of course history shows us this is far from the truth. Re-conceptualising them as temporary and seeking to ensure they remain occupied is the best measure of their utility and means of protection.
For many in the office this cross section through the thinking of the new generation was a revelation. For a pleasurable moment, minds were stretched and boundaries crossed in a fearless exploration of possibilities by these new voices.