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.
Partners: ArtWorks Scotland
Duration: 1 year
icecream architecture has facilitated a research and engagement exercise for Creative Scotland and ArtWorks Scotland in order to shed light on the role of artists working in participatory settings. icecream architecture developed interactive mechanisms which enabled conference to convey a cohesive opinion of current practice and the potential that exists within the creative sector to collaborate in participatory settings.icecream architecture developed three interactive tools that correlated with three prescribed lines of inquiry. The tools were introduced to participants throughout a day's conference, with icecream architecture on-hand to encourage participants involvement and expand the line of enquiry. A report of facts and findings has been finally produced to conveys the results in a quantitative and infographic format.
Client: The Lighthouse in partnership with MAKLab
Duration: 1 year
icecream architecture established a research base in The Lighthouse in the summer of 2012 to develop a proposal for the future of Glasgow’s riverside location, Custom Quay at Clyde Street, as a primary access to the Clydeside from the city and as a highlighted point in the velocity Commonwealth Games visitor journey.
Although furnished with an amphitheatre, public amenities and in the past an outdoor cafe, today the largely uninhabited space offers little more than a cycle route through and the occasional tourist looking for the river frontage.
Working on site and in studio with the MAKLab, The Lighthouse, a team of students and local experts a series of grassroots events, workshops, conversations and consultation took place during the 6 week programme. icecream architecture built on the Future Glasgow : City Visions research completed in 2011 that highlighted Glasgow’s desire to strengthen its connections with the river. The events inspired conversation, reminded locals of the potential of the space and ultimately posed the question; How can we invigorate this space for the Commonwealth Games but also as a city centre asset for the future?
Signs of Life
Client: Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS
Duration: 2 months
In Through the co-ordination with the Art and Health Group questions and processes were derived to allow and encourage local residents of Saracen Street, Glasgow the chance to put their views across on the subject. This would potentially create a base for future design and development of Saracen Street to be carried out with the users involvement.With the incorporation of the Arts and Health Group’s prior research, icecream architecture developed a user friendly based process asking simple questions and allowing for creative yet possible suggestions from the people of Saracen Street.The main question that icecream wanted to investigate was whether the people of Saracen Street felt the need for this type of strategy to be applied to the design surrounding the health service. This would be in the form of a measuring guide called ‘The Scales’ which will inform us an accurate account of the responses to the question. This main topic question would then be supported by suggestions of how we could make this possible by the ‘Promise Tree’, each participant will have their chance to say what they want or what they promise to do to encourage or bring new change to the community. From a design point of view these clear processes were backed up and developed more closely on the second day by more intense thoughts, ideas and breaking the areas of importance down into three main workshops.
Made In Stirling
Client: Stirling Council
Duration: 5 months
icecream architecture has designed, facilitated and delivered the pop-up shop Made in Stirling in conjunction with Start Up Street Stirling, Stirling Creative Industries Forum and Stirling.
Future CityMade In Stirling is a retail outlet based in Stirling City Centre, offering local artists and makers an opportunity to showcase their work on the highstreet. icecream architecture facilitated the launch of the shop, which has now been trading for 2 years. icecream architecture has designed, facilitated and delivered the pop-up shop Made In Stirling in conjunction with StartUp Street Stirling, Stirling Creative Industries Forum and Stirling Council. Due to the success of the project, the initial 3-month brief has been extended into a permanent outlet for creatives, designers and local craftspeople to showcase and retail their produce.The project began with seed funding from the Council and then canvassed in-kind support from local businesses to develop the plumbing, electrical and joinery work required on the empty shop unit together with marketing and materials donations from signage and a local wood production company.The space brings to life, a previously empty shop unit and has been designed in such a way that all elements of the shop, can be packed up and rolled out at other locations based on demand, it is now based in it’s fourth high street retail space.
Client: Arts Council of Ireland
Duration: 3 months
National tour of Ireland providing community workshops and design sessions for opportunities or problems within 10 different locations . Working with all age groups and organisations.
icecream architecture delivered a major nationwide research and consultation programme of events on behalf of the Arts Council of Ireland and the Irish Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport. The engagement and research programme, entitled the ‘Architectural Circus’ sought to engage with community groups and business networks across Ireland in order to feedback findings and a holistic community engagement report.icecream carried out a month-long tour that included 12 independent projects of various scales and reached a broad demographic, collaborating with numerous local visual artists, architects and designers along the way.At Carlow for example, the team worked with Carlow Town Traders to develop a report into retail trends, development of vacant spaces and marketing campaigns to boost the local retail and social sectors. The report was utilised to canvass the local council, who are considering the findings with respect of future developments in the town centre.The whistle stop tour engaged with local communities, development groups and schools whilst integrating with local and International Festivals such as Dublin Contemporary and the Wexford Fringe and Opera Festivals. The produce of the tour and the findings for the Community Consultation Report are currently being collated and analysed to gain understanding for the Council under their engagement and consultation remit.
Future Glasgow City Vision
Client: Glasgow Life
Duration: 3 months
Public engagement and reporting for Glasgow City Council’s 50 year plan.
Iicecream architecture facilitated and completed the public engagement, consultation and reporting for Glasgow City Council’s 50 year plan; Future Glasgow : City Vision. The ‘Future Glasgow’ initiative is a major city-wide research that explored the prospects for the city over the next 50 years and looked at the quality of life that residents, workers and visitors might enjoy. The long term vision was to be driven by Glasgow citizens and stakeholders.The project complimented other ongoing initiatives all of which aim to see the city continue to thrive and develop in a way that delivers the best possible outcomes for everyone who invests, works, lives, studies and plays in the city. icecream developed a schedule of interactive events and procedures to decipher both quantitative figures and qualitative anecdotes that Glaswegians had to offer about their city. By attending major public events and asking people to participate in shaping the Future of Glasgow by voting, writing on our Glasgow mapped board or simply interacting with our timeline; a wide demographic of the city were included in the initiative. In all, icecream architecture’s methods of engagement aroused over 2,000 responses and informed a greater number of the inhabitants of the city. In collaboration with Kevin Murray Associates, icecream architecture then developed the Public Engagement Report that: analysed the results of the public consultation, integrated results with the academic research of Future Glasgow and presented them in a cohesive and informative documentation.
Kirkaldy Creative Workshop
Client: Fife Council, Fife Cultural Trust
icecream architecture worked with Fife Council and Fife Cultural Trust to initiate and deliver an engagement process and series of workshops/gatherings towards promoting the shared responsibility between civic duty of the locals and the public representation of Kirkcaldy. The aim of the workshops were to identify the needs and explore the opportunities that are available in Kirkcaldy for creative individuals and industries to shape an innovative response to Town Centre issues and to motivate people to develop ideas for projects and enterprise.The event focused on creating a group towards action in the town centre and formulating a plan for activating an empty shop space along the town's promenade. From the workshop, a group of individual artists, developers, creatives, musicians and a local youth-theatre group instigated an initial 6-month long schedule of creative enterprise within the empty shop space.