Over the last few months the Wasteland Collective has morphed into a new and exciting entity. We are in the process of becoming the first Scottish landscape architecture CIC (Community Interest Company) and have a shiny new website to show off too! www.thehereandnow.org.uk
We are really pleased with what the Wasteland Collective has achieved and can’t wait to keep up the momentum within our new company. Our ethos is in line with what the Wasteland Collective started, but has expanded into three main areas: Designing, Curating and Engaging. Here + Now hopes to make influential changes in how we see and use the places around us. We have many exciting projects, events, collaborations and much more on the go, and would love for anyone passionate about creating better places to pop on over to our new website, have a browse and sign up to our mailing list!
We are excited about developing the Wasteland Collective into something even more active, unique and meaningful that is Here. Now.
Thanks for all the support for WC and we hope to see you on the other side!
Well it’s Tuesday morning and the opening of our Do It In Public show on Friday was a great success. We’ve cleaned up the empties and had time to contemplate what it is like to plan, organise and put together an exhibition as a couple o’ landscape architects. The answer is …tough but rewarding! However, when working ‘In Public’ at the gallery yesterday, we began talking about how we can use the exhibition as an example of demonstrating a landscape architects skills. Our aim to promote and redefine landscape architecture can only be helped by the exhibition but we hope that it pushes us to remain open-minded and varied in our approaches to work. It seems many people are diversifying in the nature of their professions and we think landscape architects needs to step up to this too. Come along to Do It In Public and be inspired to rethink landscape architecture and to witness that many areas of work can come together to influence change in the urban environment !
All this chat about wasted land, under used urban space, untapped city potential made us wonder. Is there a parallel going on here between our thinking on the city and the state of our profession? As landscape architects, we talk too often about the dischord between what we know we can do and influence, and the project work we actually end up doing. We think ‘regeneration strategy’ and do ‘supermarket carpark’. We dream ‘changing perceptions in urban liveability’ and do ‘municipal planting scheme’. Our skill set, in creative problem solving, defining value and equity, consultation, participation, in design and procurement and delivery is compressed into a surface-level titivation exercise.
City land, don’t be a waste of space…
Landscape architects, don’t be a waste of space!
At The Wasteland Collective, we’re asking the urban landscape to work harder, and we need to do the same professionally. We’re asking the city’s wasted spaces to come forward and be counted, and by the same measure landscape architects need to step forward and be recognised. Not to do so, and accept the status quo is the same as the city space which we allow to be acceptable when it could offer so much more.
We need to offer and promote alternative methods of working to demonstrate our value: our unique reading of the urban landscape, ability to represent and design balance for sometimes conflicting objectives, methods which merge creativity with science, our understanding of the value of Natural Capital. Involvement in projects like the Wasteland Collective offers a platform to demonstrate this. We are able to act soley in the interests of our own understanding of urban landscapes, without the constraints of developer or landowner or commercial interest. And this is a turly revealing way to represent what we do.
Now is a time when people are listening. Business approaches are changing, tactics for urban regeneration are open for re-consideration. Urban space needs to be adaptable to this change, and the people perfectly primed to offer guidance and direction to this change need to be alert and briefed: landscape architects, your time is now.
‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change..‘, perfectly put, thank you Darwin!
After a successful project launch and open studio day on Friday (pictures to follow- thanks for coming!) we have developed a few ideas into small project proposals for various wastelands around the City of Edinburgh. We want to install some physical interventions around the city on a temporary basis and see if they encourage people to use and see these wasted spaces in new light. Our first project is still in the pipeline but see below for a sneaky peak!
Check here or on twitter for more updates soon … !
‘You see, the thing that makes us different is that we’re not just interested in traditional ‘wasteland’ or brownfield land or vacant or derelict or stalled sites: they’re really interesting too and they are certainly urban wasteland which we love working with. But we’re sure there’s so much more wasted space in Scottish towns and cities, and this is the potential we want to expose and bring into positive awareness…
… whether for community growing or found food, for artistic expression or film projection, for sitting and relaxing or for activity and play, for wildlife or for urban climate adaption…’
Necessity is the mother of invention.
There is nothing sadder than the paucity of creativity seen all too often; where budgets are high, virgin resources a-plenty, and imagination is surplus to requirement. I’m fed up with the same design solutions replicated place after place, design teams across the world featuring clones of the same photoshop manufactured images.
Difficult situations inspire ingenious solutions… working with grassroots community groups, I’ve seen it first hand. Engaging, inviting, ‘human’ places arise from wasted ground, putting the land in urban settings to greater effect making it work harder for the benefit of environment and society. A harder working landscape architecture and truth to the existing potential of a place is central to my approach and my understanding of what our profession offers. Don’t waste design efforts on the ideologies of a corporate client, design for creativity and for the realisation of places which are real. This is why the Wasteland Collective is such an exciting collaboration, and a natural complement to the project work I engage in.
The Collective is a place to demonstrate a different outlet for landscape architecture, showing how successful temporary landscapes and other grassroots projects can be. We hope to reveal the lessons we’ve been learning in realising such projects, to suggest methods, approaches, and techniques to enable others to take hold of their urban places and use them more fully – to invite people to appropriate these urban wasted spaces.
Identifying need is the start of a creative process… and working within the context of ‘need’ ensures nothing goes to waste.
The official project launch is on Friday 7th June, from 3 – 7pm, at studio G11, art’s complex, 151 london road, EH7 6AE.
Join us for an interactive exhibition which explores the main culprits of wasted urban land (urban wastelands), and see how you could contribute to future projects, workshops, or work in collaboration with the team.