our projects to date
Arts and Creativity
PDI Action Research
Denny Design Charrette
Balgrayhill Community Centre
This For That CIC
Musselburgh Public Art Dabbling Project
Open Source Stirling
Beyond The Finish Line
Future City Glasgow
Only in Govan
Denny Public Art Strategy
NFU Internal Communications Strategy
The Rope Factory
Kircaldy Creative Workshop
Made in Stirling
The Tax Hotel
2011 - 2012
Future Glasgow City Vision
Signs of Life
We engineer and deliver reactive solutions that boost regeneration, enterprise, public art, communication, youth engagement, funding potential and community involvement; each with the core aim to motivate and mobilise civic pride. icecream architecture has developed through its rapport between community groups, artists and Local Authorities. There has emerged a substantial track record for integrating these groups throughout the delivery process and producing carefully considered and initiated proposals, strategies and artworks.
The team consists of enthusiastic and conscientious professionals, trained in Scotland with independent and group experience in the following disciplines; Architecture, Sculpture and Environmental Art, Product design, Graphics and Illustration. The group operates through a combined passion to explore how sharing and applying these skills can put people at the heart of decision making and creativity within their communities.
Our art, design and strategy company has had a focus from the beginning on engaging the community and encouraging their participation in permanent and semi-permanent artworks and interventions in order to build ownership in the long-term. In this sense we implement an active process of engagement across our projects where the public become part and parcel to the realisation of any strategy or artwork. This in turn fosters the sustainability of outcomes which rejuvenate the physical and nonphysical identity of a place. The following three stages described outline the emphasis we place on different approaches to engagement which we believe ensure that an public artwork or project is successful and relevant;
Research by doing
To encourage interaction and test theories either from the team or from out-with, icecream implements a strategy of ‘research by doing’ where research is tested and enhanced by creating events and interventions. Music, art and action are used to enliven a space for periods during the research. This both enhances the team's understanding of the complexities and attributes of the space and opens conversations with partners and passers by. In doing this we are in a short time able to connect with key groups of people and partners and are then able to visualise and discuss the potential of an area or idea.
Integration and Catalysation
The team place high importance in fully integrating with the groups that we are working with. To ensure that our understanding of the area and the designs, solutions and implementation that we propose are inherently about catalysing the growth and development of a place.
Galvanising a community of action
A key approach to our process is to value every contact. In the creation of an artwork, concept or strategy for a place the people of that place must feel connected to it. As the process progresses icecream collate an active database of interested parties and provide regular updates of new concepts, events, and opportunities to get involved.
Approach to Public Art:
icecream architecture believe that the art and design world has an important, challenging and exciting role to play in social, economic and environmental change. This role is not confined to hanging work in conventional galleries but can explored through the active placing of artists, designers and creative thinkers within communities.
Mobility is a central characteristic of our creative practice. Illustrated through the metaphor of the icecream van, an early tool which operated as our studio. This mobility, is literally about placing the group on the curbs of housing schemes and in the heart of town centres. It is also about empowering mobility in the people we work with. This might be through projects that mobilise new connections, confidence or knowledge. Ultimately this understanding of mobility is about ensuring that people are happy, healthy and responsive citizens.
The creation of temporary or permanent public art presents at this point a departure for presenting, communicating and synthesising this approach. icecream architecture bring together a unique cross over between architecture and fine art for the design and development of physical, conceptual and interactive public artworks.
We do not create artwork ‘about’ things, but rather in the ‘response’ to them.
We are not limited to the use of a single medium or form. We develop, share and adapt the skills within the team to suit the interests of the people we work with and the context of the outcomes.
We are not only concerned with the economic value of things. We care about people and places according to their different landscapes and aim to work in ways that explore these in relation to one another, local pride and identity. The social, environmental, heritage and cultural value.
We do not engage with people as a means to an end. We strive to take people on a journey through the process of a project. It is important to us that the artworks are owned. The journey is as relevant to us as the finished pieces. We strive to add value for the people we work with during this, by means of introducing new skills, knowledge or prospectives. Our processes are about humanising.
We are not always serious. We seek playful approaches to engaging people, we enjoy the work we do and it’s important to us that this is transferred.
PDI Action Research
Client: Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland
Duration: 8 months
icecream architecture are working with a team of young people affected by recovery in their life, to design a tool to allow practitioners to gather Glasgow City Council their stories and make them accessible for impacting policy, funding and service provision by exploring what support matters to them.
Understanding the Needs of Children and Young People in Parental Recovery
Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland’s programme with additional investment and support from the Scottish Government and the Robertson Trust will deliver a 12 month action led research and literature review project. The project will be run by the Partnership Drugs Initiative (PDI) in partnership with Evaluation Support Scotland and Icecream Architecture. We will produce a report and a resource to help improve understanding of the needs of children and young people whose own parents / guardians are in recovery. The project emerged as a result of consultations from a number of key stakeholders and feedback from PDI funded projects
We are working with a team of young people affected by recovery in their life, to design a tool to allow practitioners to gather their stories and make then accessible for impacting policy, funding and service provision by exploring what support matters to them.
To kick start we initially have an informal chat with young people, as a small group to discuss what would encourage involvement in the project. Then together over the next 6 months, we will run creative design events and active projects to test their ideas and make them come to life.
Instead of us telling young people, we encourage them them to:
Shape the project and make it interesting
Give their thoughts on what support is important
Design the tools that support workers could use
Balgrayhill Community Centre
Client: MsMissMrs CIC
Duration: 6 months
Exploring local aspirations for Balgrayhill Community Centre with the aim of facilitating a Community Asset Transfer from current management by Glasgow Life.
Community Engagement and Scoping
icecream architecture have been working on behalf of the team at MsMissMrs CIC to understand local needs and aspirations for the Balgrayhill Community Centre (Springburn, Glasgow) with the aim of re-activating the local community to enfranchise and get the most out of the facility.
Through a series of events, workshops and on-street engagement, the project aims to test ideas around how the local community would like to see the centre best used. Throughout the project the team will identify a body of local people driven to developing the centre in the future, facilitating the Community Asset Transfer of Balgrayhill Community Centre from the current management of Glasgow Life.
Coinciding and expanding on the Community Engagement and Scoping Project, icecream architecture will develop a cohesive Community-focused Feasibility proposal. The team will work creatively in the space to test local ideas over an extended period of time, ensuring that the final solutions are relevant and meaningful.
The Musselburgh Public Art Dabbling Project
Client: East Lothian Council Art’s Service
Duration: 4 months
Developing a series of creative conversations and workshops with local people in Musselburgh surrounding plans for the design and installation of public art in the town.
East Lothian Council’s Arts Service recently appointed icecream architecture to develop a series of creative conversations and workshops with local people in Musselburgh surrounding plans for the design and installation of public art in the town, funded by Tesco Ltd as part of East Lothian Council’s percent for art policy. The core aim of the project was to develop and build informed discussions with the people of Musselburgh in order to define what the key themes for meaningful public art in Musselburgh should be. Through a series of workshops, activities, inspirational speakers, explorative walks, ideas testing, sharing and critical discussion, the project has provided an accessible platform for local people to gain a broader insight and understanding into the potential for future public art, and to map possible locations within the town.
The Dabbling Panel
Following the project's conclusion, icecream architecture highlighted a ‘Dabbling Panel’ of local people who will continue to play an integral role in the selection and implementation of future public artworks in the town, ensuring the findings of the Dabbling Project are recognised and public involvement is sustained.
Sauchiehall Regeneration Framework - Stakeholder Engagement
Client: Glasgow City Council
Duration: 8 months
Working as part of the Nick Wright Planning Team to deliver stakeholder engagement shaping the district plan for the Sauchiehall and Garnethill area of Glasgow.
Over the next ten years, Glasgow City Council have an ambition to make the city a more people friendly place. To make this happen, they have commissioned a team led by Gehl Architects and Nick Wright Planning to develop a regeneration strategy for the next decade. The first part of the city centre to benefit will be around Sauchiehall Street, Garnethill and Charing Cross - a vibrant mix of nightlife, arts, shopping, flats, schools and colleges, which aims to be even better and more lively than it is now. icecream architecture have formed part of a wider team focussed on public engagement, reaching out to residents, businesses, institutions, and visitors of the district, with the aim of activating people and spaces in order to kickstart the regeneration. A series of focussed workshops have been carried out, defining the district as it is today, and highlighting the ambition for the future.Through the use of the Sauchiehall Cart and mapping toolkit, icecream architecture have initiated on-street conversations, recording local voices and ideas to shape and feed the forthcoming regeneration strategy. Throughout the process a number of potential pilot projects have been highlighted, with the aim of initiating these during the Summer 2015. These projects hope to act as a catalyst for continued activity in the area, encouraging the people of Glasgow to organise more events, smarten the area up, and bring more life to this part of the city centre.
Glasgow Museums - Audience Analysis
Client: Glasgow Museums
Duration: 6 months
Through a series of public events and focussed sessions, icecream architecture gathered citywide opinions and perceptions about Glasgow Museums venues.
To ensure they are consistently offering the best experiences for all visitors, Glasgow Museums commissioned icecream architecture to use their experience of creative public engagements to explore through a series of workshops the audience perceptions of visitors to Glasgow Museums’ venues. The process taken by the research team relied on a methodical, considered series of steps which allowed research participants to enter into a creative space, and ask themselves and each other to explore past experiences, opinions and aspirations of their visits to a Glasgow Museums’ venue. The research approach was split into two phases; awareness raising sessions and focused sessions. The former relied on setting up on-street workshops in busy public spaces to collect the opinions of Glasgow on a city wide basis. These events explored the general perceptions of Glasgow Museums’ current offering, as held by the residents and visitors of Glasgow. The second stage of research used a co-design process to work with groups of research participants on the creation of new designs for displays within Glasgow Museums’ venues. Working with groups of families, young people and adults has allowed our research team to answer four key questions through on-street conversations, interviews and discussion during workshops
The Denny Design Charrette
Client: Scottish Government, Falkirk Council
Duration: 10 months
Working as part of the Nick Wright Planning Team to deliver stakeholder engagement shaping the district plan for the Sauchiehall and Garnethill area of Glasgow. Community design workshop and development of action plan for Denny Town Centre Regeneration
In response to extensive community engagement led by icecream architecture in Denny for the development of the Denny Public Art Plan, an application was made in partnership with Falkirk Council to the Scottish Government National Charrette Mainstreaming Program. To use the Charrette workshop framework as a stepping stone for realising the communities aspirations for their Town Centre.Literally this French word, means a ‘cart.’ In 19th Century Paris, architecture students worked frantically round the clock towards their final assessments. When the cart came to pick up their models, they’d jump on the back and carry on working this became nicknamed working on ‘Charrette.’ Nowadays the word has been adopted and developed into a specific design approach that supports town centre regeneration. It is an interactive and fast paced design process taking place over a few days in a temporary design studio set up in the town or neighbourhood. Where the public and stakeholders work directly with a specialised design team to generate a specific community vision, usually based around a master-plan. There are site visits, drawings, plan making, open discussions and analysis.The Denny Design Charrette took place over 3 days at the end of May 2015 following an active and engaging animation period that began in January 2015.
This for That
Client: Firstport (seed fund)
Duration: 2014 - ongoing
This for That is an online social exchange platform that stimulates a circular sharing economy across sectors. Organisations can offer their assets in return for desirable skills or resources from other groups, encouraging much-needed collaboration to sustain and strengthen organisations for the future.Whether it’s about finding the right community to share your skills with or the right cause to share your excess, This for That maps and connects organisations across sectors to exchange resources that they have / need. This for That facilitates you to have a measurable and tangible social impact through live analytics of your organisation’s transactions.By sharing resources across organisations, This for That will reduce spend on identifying CSR opportunities and the sustainable disposal of excess; from computers to empty desk space. This for That allows your team to save time with one live point that is connected to many organisations; to access, contribute and monitor CSR activity.This for That is a growing network of public, private and community organisations to increase engagement and participation within your organisation and local community. This for That will bring new communities closer to you and facilitate scalable impact where it is most needed.
Client: Livity UK
Duration: 2011 - ongoing
icecream architecture has been delivering somewhereto_ as the regional coordinator for Scotland since 2011. Somewhereto_ is a Big Lottery funded initiative that opens spaces and buildings for young people aged 16-25 to do the things they love in sports, arts and culture.icecream is in charge of strategising and promoting the initiative across the country to space holders and young participants alike. The role entails brokering contracts, schedules and budgets to stakeholders and securing a network of available and diverse spaces across every region of Scotland. As regional coordinator, icecream promotes and represents somewhereto_ on a regional level at events and various opportunities whilst also delivering a calendar of events that encourage young people to take part. The role includes the maintenance of an online presence through the central site and additional social networking platforms. We liaise with the central team about regional activities and work with other coordinators across the UK to ensure an integrative process. icecream has exceeded quarterly targets and has maintained an extremely positive engagement rate throughout its role as regional coordinator.
somewhereto_ re:store was a summer long campaign that put energy into life-less spaces by collaborating with young people to program events, promote their own enterprise and deliver workshops and debates.Open to individuals and groups aged between 16 – 25 years the ideas could be anything from one hour events to whole week activities. The space was opened through collaboration with DNA which is located at 12 – 16 South Frederick Street, Merchant City.The programme ran between 30th July and 31st August, with celebratory events at the start and end, and opportunities during the run up. After one month the Glasgow store was visited by over 300 people and over 240 young people created and participated in activity in the space. We are now exploring the ongoing potential of re:store as a more permanent fixture within the high streets of Glasgow.