Category: temporary

Plant a Place

… some photos from last weekend’s pop-up garden!

It was great to have lots of passers-by taking advantage of a little greenspace in the city centre. Stopping to pick up some of the free seeds we were giving away, sitting with a delicious pulled pork sandwich from our neighbouring stand… or just popping in for a quick gardening chat, it was great to meet you and hear about your urban gardening escapades!

But best of all was planting herbs in recycled tin cans with the kids that visited our garden. Its great to think they know now just how easy it is to make their own little greenspaces whether on a doorstep, window sill or patio space.

This pop-up project focused around the importance of urban greenspace, and showed that you don’t even need to lift the slabs to create a spot of nature and tranquility – the bees took about half an hour to find our flowers, which just goes to show – you bring the plants and the rest comes to you!

DSC_0372 Plant a PlaceDSC_0380 DSC_0395

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Do It In Public… [cont’d] !

We really enjoyed talking to everyone who came along to the Do It In Public exhibition a month or so ago; it was inspiring to realise how much energy and interest there is for creating more living, vibrant, exiciting urban places here in Edinburgh.  As a result, we decided to take it further, out into the streets….

We are creating a pop-up garden at the St Mary’s Church Edinburgh Market! In collaboration with the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust and Edinburgh Markets, we are hosting a market stall which celebrates how simple, fun and easy it is to get growing in your urban places. You’ll find somewhere to sit and relax, can plant something to take away with you, and will find heaps of information about how you can plant a place yourself or with a small group. The project demonstrates that you don’t need a complicated community group set up, a bank balance with loads of funding, or even a particularly big space to get growing. We can help you see how you can get started now, and transform the urban realm around you.

Find us at the top of Leith Walk / Broughton Street this weekend, 24th and 25th August 2013, any time from 11am – 5pm. Look forward to seeing you then !

plant a place at the market square, edinburgh markets

wasteland projects

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 … !

Before...

Before…

Proposed after!

Proposed after!

no more wasted efforts…

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.

what do you do ?

After five years of studying landscape architecture you’d think I’d know what it is! English is English, maths is maths but landscape architecture is …well, I’m still not so sure. So in order to tackle the common conversation :

             ‘What do you do?’

Me :    ‘Landscape architecture’

            ‘Oh great..you can do my garden !!’

Me :   ‘Eh…well it’s..not really..ehh..

I decided it was time to really define the subject to myself and then maybe I can come up with a more descriptive response to ‘What do you do?’.

I began to realise that landscape architecture, in my eyes, could play a part in improving the usability of our cities and also contribute to wider urban social issues. It could be used as a tool to work with the people that would actually benefit from a new space in their area whilst also creatively deal with urban land that is abandoned, vacant, derelict or underused.

I wanted to work in a discipline that wasn’t always restrained by years of planning, evaluation, tradition and more planning to plan planning! Temporary interventions in the landscape are an interesting way to A. get around this and B. actually get things happening in a timescale that is foreseeable and current and C. make a difference to our urban landscape even if only in the meantime.

When I started to realise that the subject I had studied could actually be quite simple and topical I determined that as a profession it really is open to debate and interpretation. My views and interests within landscape architecture are slowly coming into focus and becoming clear to me as a designer. This however, doesn’t make the question ‘What do you do?’ any easier to answer ..there’s not really a standard response unfortunately.

Perhaps a personal interpretation of the profession and maybe an example or two of exciting temporary landscapes would satisfy?!