WHAT?

We are an Edinburgh-based collective set up in 2016 by a group of architecture and cultural management graduates. We focus on participatory design, engaging with different community organisations, and encourage everyone’s contribution to their built environment. Along this common theme, our work ranges from workshop based activities to projects of a more architectural nature. This reaches across three strands – design activism, community engagement and meanwhile use.

We are currently based at the ESALA Projects Office in Minto House, on Chambers Street, but are now working across the country. Come say hello!

HOW?

As a group, we became involved with the Fountainbridge Canalside Initiative Meanwhile Site, where we worked on the final stages of the Wikihouse built there. This led to our involvement with Baltic Street Adventure Playground and their Wikihouse, which we clad in February 2017.

At the moment, we are working on participatory design and construction workshops to renovate a library bus with Superpower Agency and a meanwhile use scheme for the site of the Leith Tram Depot.

Individually, we have a range of experience from community-focused workshops to commercial architecture schemes, as well as exhibitions and events. We draw from this breadth of experience in order to meaningfully engage with communities.

Through the support of ESALA Projects, we have secured the use of an office in the Architecture School, where we’re working on activities with the school, as well as autonomous projects.

WHO?

Laura

Laura wants to expand her experience of community and collaborative based design projects before continuing the professional development necessary to become an architect. She hopes to build upon her previous experience of conventional architectural practice at Bennetts Associates in Edinburgh where she gained valuable insight into the production of architecture. Laura is keen to be involved in socially aware design activity which contributes to the community and the city she now considers home.

Silvan

Silvan has just finished his studies in Karlsruhe and brings to Scotland an energy and dedication that pushes the team forward. He studied art and cultural management, giving him the necessary skills to pursue the managerial aspect of our projects, as well as in order to secure funding. He currently volunteers with the National Galleries of Scotland & Youth Vision.

Cameron

Cameron is really excited about collaboration! He thinks lots about bringing together the processes of design and building, and how to include everybody. He brings to the table his experience of running workshops with Studio Umschichten in Stuttgart, and Recetas Urbanas in Madrid.

Calum

Calum takes interest in the possibilities offered, both socially and in design, by live-build projects and the processes of engagement and learning involved. With involvement in design/build projects across the UK and abroad, including with Tog Studio on the isle of Tiree and Arkitrek in Malaysia, Calum has first hand experience of the positive effects and remarkable outcomes that are achieved through collective acts of making and construction.

Billy

Billy is engaged both by the autonomy of community-led initiatives and their visual documentation. Having previously worked for Selgascano in Madrid, he is inspired by the role of bright colours and recycled materials in the creation of democratic spaces. His graduating project was a refugee shelter in Leith, structured around the collision of world food cultures as an anchor for displaced families.

Miranda

Miranda is interested in how design and space can be formed with a community to not only directly address their desires but also engage them in the making process. After co-leading a self-build classroom project in Uganda and realising the benefit of working closely with the local people she wants to explore how skills learnt in architectural practice can be implemented in participatory, community led design.

Ruth

Ruth became involved with Civic Soup in 2016 whilst working with Laura at Bennetts Associates.  She is interested in how people engage with the spaces they inhabit, and sees collaborative design activities of all scales as a way of fuelling these conversations about place.