CM Brief for Laurieston

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LAURIESTON:
Proposal for Stage 2
In response to the initial brief, I immediately thought of a previous project I had undertaken in the area of Laurieston. It was a project named after Cedric Price, an architect celebrated for his visionary ideas consisting of impermanence, the potential of movement and technology within the built environment, and these objectives not necessarily culminating in a traditional building.
The residents of Laurieston live in 80% social housing, a sign that this area has suffered through two generations of post-industrialised unemployment, causing a jarred community spirit that breeds in other similar areas throughout Britain. Huge numbers of residents have been displaced since 2005 due to condemned high rise flats, and many have returned and been rehoused in new . The ‘revived community’ of Laurieston relies on social wellbeing and a fresh start for many local people.
Due to the current reinvention of the Laurieston/Gorbals area, in association with many social, health and educational organisations, I thought it best to offer an interior proposal which supported and may be designed in conjunction with other parties. The design should be impermanent, due to the forward moving changeability of an area such as this. Also in line with CP’s recommendation of architecture (in this case interior architecture) lasting only so long as it is useful, without the possibility for abandonment or the need for demolition, both potentialities that can cause a malaise in both residents and the perceiving wider public.
I propose a programmed social space for adults. This would exist to offer an alternative to the jobcentre, the traditional ‘old man’ pub, and the social hub of The Barn, which does important work with younger and older people. Focussing on both women and men of working age, who may not be in employment for various reasons, is a challenging but worthwhile cause. Chronic and widespread low self-esteem is a contributing factor here, and some social solutions are perceived as patronising. I propose the first event in the social space to be a ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ evening based on the model of Speed Dating. However the event is visually implied or perceived, whether for meeting new people or socialising with neighbours, I hope to get romance and friendship on the mind of the attendees. I hope the event serves as a prelude to a programme that celebrates and cultivates adult friendships.
I propose to use the first arch of the Cleland Lane arches, just across the road north from the Citizens Theatre carpark and across east from the tenement house on Gorbals Street. The interiority of the space is as yet undecided, but will certainly be one of the most important aspects of the project. The aesthetic will align with promotional material surrounding the first and continuing events, signage and any online spaces associated with the physical space. The aim is to promote temporality as playfulness, while still creating a warm, welcoming and solid interior. This may be realised through the use theatrical set-dressing techniques, or props as talking points. The use of camera phones as ongoing personal narrative tools will also be considered in designing the interior.
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