Last Friday, Liz from the Wasteland Collective was invited to present a talk about regenerating vacant land to students of the MOBILELAND course at Strathclyde University.
It was great to hear about the processes and projects the students there have been involved in, and to share some ideas for how architects and landscape architects can help shape more humane, engaging, and meaningful places. We’re looking forward to some future collaborations…!
Check out their project here:
The Wasteland Collective were invited to speak at the A+DS curated Pecha Kucha last night, to talk a bit about the work we’ve been involved in over the last year and to share some thoughts on what we’ve seen along the way! It was a brilliant evening with a great turn out, and it was so inspiring to hear all the other projects talked about too at this fast-paced ideas-filled ambition-fuelled evening! Thank you A+DS for the invitation, and look forward to some collaborations with some of the other vacant landers soon.
There’s more information about the evening and the other speakers here: www.ads.org.uk/events/pechakucha-night-21-pretty-vacant
And apparently films of all the talks are going to be made available online soon too! But for now, here is a wee snippet from our talk…
We’re here to share an obsession with waste, an obsession with land, and some thoughts about collectives! Over the last year, the wasteland collective have been collecting wastelands and giving them a bit of fresh thought.
Waste is just an interpretation of resources and opportunities. And we would say there’s really no such thing as waste. After this short sequence of slides, I’m hoping you all think a bit differently about ‘waste’ land…. I’d like you to be part of the growing number who see the opportunities in urban wasted space!
One of our projects was a series of participatory workshops with school children from one of Edinburgh’s peripheral estates, where we started to explore concepts of land value. The project was called Our Natural Capital, and it was a great way to use the kid’s insights and honest make-no-bones of it attitudes to explore land as a resource with value. We produced a story map which presents how the kids see heritage, resource, and the value of urban land. We used storytelling as a medium to build curiosity around urban landscapes and started asking bigger questions about what’s good enough. At the end, we actually managed to produce a manifesto of principles for better places!
It just goes to show, ‘Values tend to influence attitudes and behaviour’
We are a collective of creative professionals, but at its core are two landscape architects who are looking for a way to put urban land to more dynamic effect. We don’t just talk about it behind closed doors though: We have hosted two exhibitions, a pop-up market garden, and helped run a series of participatory workshops exploring concepts of land, wasteland, and value. We are currently working with A+DS to explore mechanisms of ‘pop-up practice’, focused around the work of landscape architects, really thinking about different ways of working.
This is emerging practice, but we’ve found a fantastic energy and interest in the idea that urban land could work harder; and that landscape architects might be at the core of offering new approaches for realising this.
We work with people, with space, with nature, it all comes together. We understand these processes and systems, and can begin to prioritise and orchestrate things……
We can begin to inspire elegant solutions… ‘human’ places arise from wasted ground
Going forward, we hope to continue working with creative practitioners, but also with groups of people not from trained backgrounds: artists and community growers, filmmakers and storytellers, children and older people, people who like to build and people who like to demolish, to come up with fresh approaches in response to today’s needs and aspirations all set within the backdrop of a newly imagined version of our existing urban fabric.
Urban Realm magazine wrote a feature on the work of the Wasteland Collective, check it out here!
Here’s cool idea by a friend of the Wasteland Collective! Studio neighbour Jaimie MacDonald has come up with an alternative type of pop-up… Pop-up Peace!
She plans to run a series of chats on her street corner near a leafy greenspace… here’s her flier. We think this is a great idea, and are planning to collaborate with her soon. Find out more at http://www.madecurious.co.uk/blog/2014/7/25/pop-up-peace-part-1
Introducing the wasteland collective…Cate Inglis.
What are wastelands?
A wasteland…a ruin…a forgotten place…where people once were but now are not. A loss of potential…a waste of resources….an eyesore? There is a sadness in these places that tells a story of someone’s forgotten dreams, failed plans and the amnesia of progress.
My practice is concerned with disused, derelict structures, forgotten spaces and their place amongst the constant rebuilding and evolution of urban landscapes. I record the effects of time upon the materials we use to build and fail to maintain, and the visual landscape created by layer upon layer of architecture that forever seeks to meet the needs of an advancing population.
All of these wasted spaces (and we are surrounded by them) could be so many things, as urban space becomes tighter. Through my paintings I invite the viewer to look – to really look – at what is all around us and ask themselves what was this? And what could it be?
Our Do It In Public exhibition is taking shape and the collective is pulling together to develop some really interesting approaches and responses to urban wastelands. The group of artists, designers, film makers, architects and landscape architects that are involved in the exhibition have taken various approaches to question, record and redefine what our modern cities do for us and how we can ask for more. Over the next wee while we will be giving over some of our blog entries to the members of the wasteland collective and the Do It In Public exhibitors to give you a taster of the exhibition work!
Watch this space…
We’ve been busy developing our plans for a follow up exhibition on the 19th of July, we are please to say we’ve had a brilliant bunch of collaborators get in touch, all with really interesting and original projects! Now we’re putting it all together: working with artists to reveal what urban wastelands are, and with designers and landscape architects to suggest ideas for what they could be. Having looked through all the projects, we thought one thing that pulled them all together was that they seek for ways to do more in the public realm…… which gave us our ‘thought provoking’ exhibition title…
‘Do It In Public’!
We hope that the city’s decision makers and planners will be listening when we animate and illustrate the things we’d like to use our public open spaces for. It’s about having a freedom to do the things we love but in our collective urban environment: art, music, dance, learning, growing, eating, drinking…