The Recap: a weekly update from Architecture and Design Scotland

A lecture theatre with the backs of group of people watching a speaker with two large screens above her
Published: 06/05/2024

Welcome to the Recap - a weekly update blog from Architecture and Design Scotland. This is based on our internal blog that is shared with staff and board members on Fridays. 

This week the Recap is shorter than usual as we had a busy week settling into our new home at Edinburgh Futures Institute. 

Out with the old and in with the new 

It's great to finally be settled into Edinburgh Futures Institute. We moved in on 1 May and spent the week gazing in awe at the transformation of the building. We also said a last farewell to Bakehouse Close and handed over the building on the last day of April. 

Working together

We held our first workshop as a team at EFI on Thursday co-creating guidelines and suggestions on how to work together in the building. The technology in the teaching space is fantastic, as we would have expected with even bigger screens than we had before...

Designing cities that work for women

On 2 May our Director of Design, Heather Claridge, participated in a thought-provoking workshop exploring how cities can be designed with women's needs and experiences at the forefront. 

The session led by Dr. May East and co-hosted by Ben Wilson at Perth and Kinross Council, aimed to share Dr. East's research findings on how women navigate and experience urban spaces in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Perth. Her findings have been published in the book "What if Women Designed the City," shared insights gleaned from walking interviews with 99 women in Perth, part of a larger study encompassing 270 women across Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Perth.

Our first visitor

Our first guest to our new home was Louise MacDonald, Director General Communities at the Scottish Government. With her portfolio covering everything from planning and housing to public service reform and social work, Louise was keen to find out about our work and our decision to move to the Edinburgh Futures Institute. 

After a tour of the building, we chatted in more detail about what we do and how it can play a part in supporting the Scottish Government's policy implementation across several areas. It was clear from this that she is keenly interested in EFI as a centre for innovation, collaboration and design thinking and she was delighted to hear about how our work contributes to public service reform. 

Portraying Scotland’s Landscape 

We sit on the executive committee of Scotland’s Landscape Alliance One of their current priorities is to refresh Scotland’s Landscape Charter.  Danny McKendry attended a workshop to look at the charter that took place at at Riddles Court in Edinburgh.  An approach suggested by us is that landscape should not be a passive recipient of interventions, but rather an essential and living asset to the delivery of the aspirations of NPF4.