Architecture Fringe focuses 'attention on the contradictions and opportunities presented by our everyday lives'

The Architecture Fringe 'focuses attention on the contradictions and opportunities presented by our everyday lives'

Architecture Fringe production team / credit: Robb Mcrae

This year's event centres around an 'In Real Life' theme and features two weeks of exhibitions, talks, installations and events

Back in 2015, the Architecture Fringe was conceived by a volunteer group of architects, designers, engineers, visual artists and curators in order to encourage broader public debate about architecture and design in Scotland. The 2019 edition promises to be the biggest and best yet, with over 100 events taking place throughout Scotland in June.

This year's provocation is 'In Real Life', with commissions for the core programme centred around this theme. Meanwhile, the submissions-based open programme invites anyone who wishes to join in the discussions surrounding Scotland's built environment to bring their own exhibitions, talks, installations and events to the Fringe for two weeks. Participants hail from across Scotland, ranging from established institutions to community organisations, collectives, students and active individuals, all united by their drive to engage in the wider discussions surrounding housing, sustainability and community.

Speaking to Chris Dobson, co-producer of Architecture Fringe, we found out more about what visitors can expect from this year's festival.

How did the provocation 'In Real Life' come about?
We aim to focus attention on the contradictions and opportunities presented by our everyday lives, in which the only constant is rapid change. From the perspective of a profession that is traditionally slow to adapt and realise its projects, we're looking to pose pertinent questions about how architecture can help contribute to solving the real problems that we face in our physical environment, away from our own digital bubbles.

What can we expect to see from participants in this year's Architecture Fringe?
Across the programme, the built environment will be explored through architecture, art, dance, spoken word, music, live performance, film, photography, tours, talks, debates, live-build projects and a summer school. Something for everyone, I think! We've always encouraged a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to the programme's events, so we couldn't be happier to see such a diverse array of talent and output coalesce for our 2019 edition.

How has the concept of 'In Real Life' been interpreted in the various works?
Our House Rules, an exhibition at Edinburgh's Custom Lane, seeks to question the output of house-builders. Have the 70% of new homes they've been responsible for delivering in Scotland, over the past decade, met our aspirations in terms of how we wish to live our lives as part of a healthy, happy society? We're also excited to welcome Andy Wightman MSP, Nicola Barclay (Homes for Scotland) and Stuart Henderson (Stewart Milne Homes) for a debate on this subject.

ReTypes, an exhibition at The Lighthouse, concerns the creative and radical repurposing of building types that are becoming increasingly redundant in our towns and cities. On display will be commissioned work from a selection of the UK's most exciting young and emerging practices, including Ann Nisbet Studio, Moxon, Studio Niro and You+Pea.

Also at The Lighthouse, we'll explore the topic of Queer Space through the Glasgow Club Scene, featuring collaborations with Shoot Your Shot, OH141, VAJ.Power, Junglehussi and Hot Mess. A research and design project by the GSA People of Colour Collective called /other profiles people of colour working in architecture, and Home, At Last features a small group of Scottish-based creatives seeking to generate a provocative alternative model to current care-home culture.

The festival opening party is at The Lighthouse and The Old Hairdresser's, Glasgow, Fri 7 Jun; Architecture Fringe, various venues, nationwide, Fri 7–Sun 23 Jun.

Architecture Fringe

Architecture Fringe is an open platform for the arts in which people can explore architecture and discover what it means to them. Projects may take the form of exhibitions, performances, discussions, screenings, installations, writing, lectures, walks, music or temporary structures. The 2019 Architecture Fringe revolves…

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