Scotland’s Architecture Fringe festival has launched its annual open call for self-initiated projects (Deadline: 8 April)
The free-to-enter programme – now in its fourth year – invites applications from architects, artists, designers and other disciplines for innovative contributions responding to the theme ‘In Real Life’.
Submissions may take the form of exhibitions, performances, discussions, screenings, installations, writing, lectures, walks, music or temporary structures but must secure their own funding. The independent festival will be held across Scotland from 7 to 23 June.
Mellarstain House installation by Steve Messam for the 2017 Architecture Fringe
Architecture Fringe co-founder and co-producer Andy Summers said: ‘This year’s provocation of In Real Life is an invitation to explore the extraordinary here and now that shapes our individual experiences and collective storytelling. The complexity of daily life – the everyday – is often overlooked in favour of soundbites, stereotypes and simplistic representations. This complexity and the contradictions inherent within it has a direct influence on how our landscapes, towns, and cities look, function and change.
‘In Real Life seeks to acknowledge the multiple, diverse and often conflicting daily realities that exist online and offline within our shared built environment. Some of these realities are isolated, some co-exist and many intersect. The 2019 Architecture Fringe open programme is an opportunity to imagine a more generous, inclusive and inspirational architectural culture where the everyday informs and re-energises architecture’s role in creating better places and spaces, IRL [in real life].’
Architecture Fringe was founded three years ago as a platform to explore architecture and its impact by a volunteer collective of architects, photographers, engineers, landscape architects, visual artists, curators and musicians.
Last year’s event featured more than 70 projects by 340 contributors across 56 venues. Highlights included a site-specific installation dubbed The Messenger (pictured) by artist Hilary Jack, and Salon des Refuses of unbuilt architectural designs.
The Messenger by artist Hilary Jack
Commenting on the open call, artist and designer Adam Nathaniel Furman said: ‘The IRL provocation for the Architecture Fringe 2019 is an incredibly timely invitation to explore the messy, conflicted, complex and brilliantly diverse reality of our contemporary cityscapes, in contrast to the limited and sanitised, “curated”, “selected”, and “crafted” narratives and imagery usually presented by the profession.’
Applications should include a signed memorandum of understanding, team details and a 150-word project description.
How to apply
The deadline for applications is midday, 8 April.
Visit the competition website for more information
Q&A with Andy Summers
The co-founder and co-producer of Architecture Fringe discusses his ambitions for the open call
Source: Image by Nachinji Mumba
Why are you holding an open call for the Architecture Fringe?
The Architecture Fringe, since inception in 2015, has been about creating a framework which encourages and supports a development of and evolution within architectural culture in Scotland. The idea for an open call is central to provoking new voices, new ideas and new work. The open call is entirely that - open, and free. We do not curate or gatekeep submissions, we just keep an eye on quality and deliverability. Facilitating the open call and subsequent open programme is a key part in helping foster an active, self-critical and socially aware culture in and around architecture in this part of the world.
What is your vision for this year’s festival?
Our vision for this year’s festival is to explore the extraordinary here and now of our contemporary reality. To imagine and encourage a more generous, inclusive and inspirational architectural culture where the everyday informs and re-energises architecture’s role in creating better buildings and places. Our provocation for the fourth edition of the Architecture Fringe is In Real Life, (IRL). The complexity of daily life – and of critical national decisions - is often overlooked in favour of soundbites, stereotypes and simplistic representations. We’ll seek to explore the multiple, diverse and often conflicting realities that exist within our shared built environment.
Sacred Vessels by Tim Taylor for Architecture Fringe 2018
Who do you hope will apply to take part in this year’s open programme?
The strength of the Architecture Fringe has always been the wide, varied and multi-disciplinary response to and use of the platform with the festival inspiring and hosting work from architects, landscape architects, artists, photographers, choreographers, musicians, activists, interested citizens and academics. The open programme is an opportunity to take a risk, test ideas and try something new. Many practices based in Scotland, both large and small, are now actively producing their own events and exhibitions. This freedom enables them to reflect on their own approach to architecture and to engage in issues affecting the built environment and society at large.
What are the big issues in architecture in Scotland right now?
Similarly as in other parts of the UK procurement is still an issue here in terms of process, design quality and better commissioning access for newer practices. Within the profession, the changes over the past year at the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland have been much needed and it’s great to see the organisation begin to re-engage a greater number of architects and interested parties. The nature of architectural education, at university level, also continues to be a point of discussion in terms of relevant training towards contemporary practice.
Façades/ Flats performance by Emily Speed and Jack Webb for Architecture Fringe 2018
What recent work are you impressed by?
Work which I greatly admire at present is within areas where architecture needs to re-assert itself. In Scotland Stallan-Brand are completing a number of new schools in the Scottish Borders which are skillfully navigating, with the council-client, the current procurement system (Broomlands Primary School, Kelso, 2018). Within the development world I’m excited by the work of Arrant Land. Their Haddo Yard scheme (Haddo Yard, Whitstable with Denizen Works, 2017) is just the start of some critical, impressive and beautiful work I’m sure.