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
Denny Public Art Strategy
Future City Glasgow
Only in Govan
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.
Open Source Stirling
Partners: ArtLink Central, Creative Stirling
Duration: 1 year
Open Source Stirling used resource mapping processes, a public engagement programme and community participation to create an asset for the community which is helping to define new directions for culture in Stirling.Openness, transparency and local ownership have been the focus of this project from the beginning with many local artists contributing by running workshops and creative interventions. “Cultural Mapping” techniques were used to collate a diverse directory of individuals and organisations working within this sector throughout the Stirling area.The resulting digital platform and engagement programme has catalysed the formation of a “Cultural Collective”, This grassroots group consisting of local artists, local authorities and businesses, meet regularly to discuss a future cultural strategy for Stirling. One of our intentions from the launch of the project was to create an effective mechanism which can be used by the community to establish a transparent channel of communication with local authorities, playing a greater role in their own development.
Beyond The Finish Line
Duration: 1 year
Beyond The Finish Line was set up to mobilise young people to regenerate their local areas whilst harnessing the momentum of the Commonwealth Games. In a bid to empower the city’s brightest young entrepreneurs, icecream architecture’s multidisciplinary design team worked closely with clients, Firstport, to devise a structured, reactive business supportprogramme.The team created a strong brand identity and transformed a disused retail unit into a versatile incubator and vibrant events space. Participants had direct access to the design team to enhance their own projects including the graphic design of several brand identities.Following its success, Beyond The Finish Line has won 3 awards - The LighthouseDesign Impact awards both judges and public vote and Social Enterprise Scotland awards. It has also been awarded prestigious Legacy status, given to projects that work to create a more prosperous, inclusive and accessible Glasgow. Beyond The Finish Line was shortlisted in the Town Centre Regeneration category of the 2014 SURF awards.
Denny Public Art Strategy
Client: Falkirk Community Trust
Duration: 1 year
In November 2013, icecream architecture were appointed by Falkirk Community Trust, to create a Public Art Strategy for Denny town centre and the new town square. To work with the community to explore creative potential and a vision for public art in Denny.The town square shall become the focal point of the long awaited regeneration of Denny town centre. Through the process of this Design Strategy, icecream have been running a series of creative consultations and artistic activities to promote creative thinking towards the public space and how it can benefit the people of Denny. We have been running a host of on-street discussions, school workshops and public art interventions to test ideas for the new town square and promote conversation.The year long project has been delivered in collaboration with the Design Team - responsible for the design of the new public Library and retail units - earmarked for construction in 2015. The outcome of the process has been the development of a framework and local context for public art commissions that could be integrated into the landscaping of the new town square, with further input from local residents and stakeholders. The public art strategy, addresses a vision for public art in Denny, thematic responses and potential opportunities that are aligned to this and a series of strategic objectives, developed in response to community engagement.
Future City Glasgow
Client: Glasgow City Council
Duration: 2 months
icecream architecture has designed and developed the engagement and literacy programme that will put residents at the forefront of technology integration and application through a series of connected initiatives.
Future City | Glasgow is an ambitious £24Million programme which will demonstrate how technology can make life in the city smarter, safer and more sustainable. Glasgow was awarded this funding by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) – the UK Government’s innovation agency, against stiff competition from other locations.icecream architecture designed and developed the engagement and literacy programme that will put residents at the forefront of technology integration and application through a series of connected initiatives. Analysis of data collected during the demonstrator will assist policy makers and inform future investment.
Only in Govan
Client: Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative
Duration: 9 months
Engagement, aspiration and design project resulting in the publication of a widely distributed book created by local networks and people of Govan.
Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) commissioned icecream architecture to create this book over nine months, working entirely with local input and inspiration.Hannah Brackston, icecream architecture project Lead and locally based environmental artist captured stories and memories from people both young and old, from new comers to indigenous Govanites, sharing skills and ideas which make us think outside the box about this book! The team worked with local photographers and the final publication was designed by Paul McDonald, icecream architecture Graphic Designer. This book is an interactive and involving, completely unique document, telling the significant, the forgotten and the inspiring memories of Govan. The book shows off the local secrets and details, which make this a place to be proud of. It exists both as a digital document and as 4,000 beautiful hard copies distributed to homes and households in Govan for free. The book was launched at the infamous Govan Fair on June 6th 2014.
The Rope Factory
Client: Glasgow Life
Duration: 3 months
Interactive installation for ‘Year to Go’ Commonwealth celebrations Design and development of an interactive installation to engage the public in the arrival of the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow
Iicecream architecture were commissioned by Glasgow Life Arts and Music to deliver an installation in Glasgow for the Merchant City Festival ‘one year to go’ celebrations for the Commonwealth Games .The piece was imagined to actively entice participants on an exploration of the many countries that make up the Commonwealth. Throughout its creation, a tight team of ‘knotters’ worked and laughed tirelessly for over a month, sharing many tales of their home countries and the experiences that paved their varying routes to Glasgow.When installed at the Merchant City Festival 2013, it became a hive of energy and discussion, with one young participant proclaiming to her mother, “See ya later; I’m aff to Sierra Leone.” The precursor to the event was a series of events that saw local and international communities being pulled together to share stories and weave a net from a rope. Using a common project toconnect communities that would often not cross paths.After completion, the Rope Factory was chosen for the RSA Architecture Open and a segment of the overall piece was exhibited at the RSA in Edinburgh.
Client: Stirling Council
Duration: 5 months
The Stirling Citylab acts as a high street point of contact for start-up businesses, ideas and enterprise that wish to operate in Stirling’s City Centre in order to deliver business advice, support, networking and access to the city centre trading realm.
The Stirling Citylab acts as a high street point of contact for start-up businesses, ideas and enterprise that wish to operate in Stirling’s City Centre in order to deliver business advice, support, networking and access to the city centre trading realm.Over a five month period, icecream initiated and delivered this pilot programme of support and business development from a disused shop unit on King Street. The project involved developing a network of available resources and contacts from the assets that already existed around the city. Partner organisations were engaged and encouraged to get involved. A new brand identity was created and the space itself was converted into a flexible platform for participants to make use of.The incubator acted as a contact point on the high street and a sounding board and place for the generation of coworking, collaboration and joined-up thinking across the city. By exploring innovative and diverse routes into the city centre each participant was supported to develop as a sustainable entity in Stirling.
46 core participants pro-actively engaged who regularly utilised free workspace with wifi, meeting rooms and a community of entrepreneurs and social enterprises. - Business partnerships and collaborations formed across a wide variety of sectors including a cycle cafe, a fashion designer, a crisis management company, a local Fringe Festival, a creative workshops team, a drama group and a home-care company.- 63 events over 4 months: including business pilot events, guest speakers, networking evenings, dating workshops, a national strategy meeting, coworking events and various business workshops.- 23 referrals to further support networks and 7 successful funding matches for start-up businesses.
The Tax Hotel
Client: Architecture + Design Scotland
Duration: 2011 - ongoing
The Tax Hotel takes a recently vacated HMRC building and ignites a creative array of activities, performances, residencies, banquets, public art and development spaces to promote and cultivate creative talent.As part of the Tax Hotel, icecream hosted and co-organised the Town Centre Event with the Scottish Government. The event was chaired by Alex Gourlay of Boots and brought together the heads of Scottish Retail Industry and Town Centre Managers to focus on revitalising the cores of our towns and cities.The Tax Hotel is an idea for initiating change, creating demand and creatively exploiting the existing assets and developing new ones in the city centre to supply that demand, form the basis of this project. The idea of art, temporary time periods and bespoke hotels have been used in other locations, such as Emscher Park in Germany as ‘different’ ways of experiencing a place. It’s way of promoting a micro economy of makers and doers coming together to share space, skills and resources. To create a distinctive offer which is about the experience, make the hotel offer time limited and provide the service in partnership with local suppliers provide catering or entertainment, increasing the link between the user and the wider offer of the place.