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As Architecture and Design Scotland celebrates its 10th year in 2015 DECADE is a series a series of talks on architecture in Scotland which will reflect on the past 10 years and look forward to the important issues of the next decade.

Established in 2005, Architecture and Design Scotland is Scotland’s champion for good design and sustainable places. Over the last 10 years A+DS has helped create sustainable places in Scotland – through advocacy, advice and by showcasing the best examples of Scotland’s contemporary architecture.

DECADE – which begins in June and will run until the end of 2015 – covers topics ranging from sustainable development and emerging practice to housing and green spaces.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

A+DS has made a valuable contribution to the Scottish Government’s work on the built and natural environment over the last ten years. As well as supporting and promoting the development of high quality architecture and successful places, A+DS has worked to engage the public and professionals, helping to catalyse debate around the kind of place that we all want Scotland to be. A+DS’ DECADE programme is a fitting way to mark 10 years of achievement and to look forward to the future.

Karen Anderson, Chair of Architecture and Design Scotland said
“With the DECADE programme we want to both reflect on the past ten years, but more importantly hear from others and key speakers to help us address the key issues in the next ten years, and beyond.”

“We have created a programme with a broad range of themes and topics, and there should be something of interest for everyone who wants to learn more about, and help shape better architecture and places in Scotland. We hope this series of talks will spark debate and discussion amongst decision makers and the public as well as built environment professionals. We want to help put good design at the heart of public investment and planning thinking as we believe this is critical for our quality of life and sustainability.”

The DECADE programme will promote discussion, debate and questions and will culminate in a publication at the start of 2016 – the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.


Tickets will be released for the events throughout the summer. Make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter to hear the latest details about the DECADE event series.


The grass is always greener?

10 September 2015 5.30 – 7.30pm
Location: Hayburn Park, Hayburn Crescent, Glasgow

Greenspaces – whether parks, playing fields, allotments or a wee green corner at the end of the street – make a big difference to our lives. But is Scotland’s greenspace getting better or worse? Join us for a walk in the park as we tell the stories of some inspiring greenspace projects. Sharing the highs and lows, the challenges and celebrations – what lessons can we learn?

Space to Succeed

24 September, 3.30pm – 6:30pm
Location: The City Observatory, TIC Building, Strathclyde University

The OECD document ‘Innovating to learn, learning to innovate’ highlights the need to adapt the way we support all learners, and the spaces for learning, to equip them for a modern and changing world of work. So what does this mean for the design of spaces and places for learning, and how can these spaces be designed to support different learners achieve success?

In this session we will share ideas and provoke debate about innovative learning spaces both physical and digital and how they might combine and interact to connect schools, college, universities, high streets and business to raise skill levels and maximise participation in education.


I don’t live in a house, I live in a community

1 October 4.00 – 6.00pm
Location: The Lighthouse, Glasgow

How can housing create stronger communities and neighbourhoods? How can housing provide more than merely unit numbers? This event is about a people-centred approach and aims to stimulate and challenge thinking about conventional ‘market and deliverability’ approaches to housing to reflect on the housing sector’s greater longer term role in ensuring the creation of great places for people.

Participate! How can we get people involved in shaping a building, place or service?

8 October 1.30 – 4.30pm
Location: The Lighthouse, Glasgow

We ask questions and consult on place, but what do we actually do with the information, viewpoints and advice generated during participation and consultation? This interactive debate will challenge new and existing ways of participation processes, how can it be all inclusive, how can we learn and develop new ways of working together in creating places, and more importantly what do we do next! We will hear from communities that have been involved in positive and negative experiences and highlight what could/should have been done differently.

Are we building ‘Equally Well?’

21 October
Location: Glasgow, East End

What makes a space conducive to health and well-being and how can all our developments improve our health? This topic will explore how different sectors approach the design of buildings and landscapes to support our physical and mental wellbeing, from health facilities that encourage green exercise, through construction techniques that lower respiratory problems to schools designed to lower stress.It will include an exploration of how convergent themes and approaches from different sectors can inform our briefs and our design decisions and help make all the settings of our lives healthy ones.


Achieving Community Led Regeneration

11 November

Over the last 20 years in Scotland there has been a significant shift from physical regeneration lead by publicly funded urban regeneration companies towards a more people based approach that addresses physical, social and economic change. What support do public, private and third sector organisations need to engage with people and communities to achieve this shift?

Sustainable procurement – a pipe dream or a game changer?

19 November
Location- A+DS Office, Bakehouse close, Edinburgh

How has procurement shaped what we build now and in the future? Will the new duty to act sustainably in procurement make it easier for clients of public projects to prioritise outcomes through the process? This event will explore the issues around delivering Scottish Government policies on procurement and will explore the potential for beneficial change afforded by the new duty.
There will be a particular focus on delivering environmental and social sustainability, including the benefits in terms of jobs, economic growth, people’s sense of well-being; and how we can recognise and prioritise these ‘intangibles’ through procurement.Booking opening soon.

Past Decade events:

Sustainable Development through Retrofit Is the only green building the one that already exists?

2 June 2015 1.30 – 4.30pm
Location: ECCI, Edinburgh

Should we stop being distracted by proposals for shiny new buildings, and realise that what we often call regeneration is actually replacement? With 80% of the building stock that will be in use in 2050 already in place and buildings being replaced at a rate of 2% per annum, do we need to focus our efforts on dealing with what already exists?

Emerging Practice The recession: a catalyst for change?

18 June 2015 1.30 – 4.30pm
Location: The Lighthouse, Glasgow

As we emerge from the deepest recession in living memory we find that while much of the construction industry has been hibernating, a quiet revolution has been taking place. Those in a position to provide support have done so by offering ways for new and emerging practices to get a foot on the ladder through design competitions, and other new ways of doing old things. This event will explore the influence that these new ways of working will have as the world begins to move on.

Can buildings tell our story? Cultural Buildings in Scotland

27 August 2015 4.00 – 7.00pm
Location: The Whisky Bond, Dawson Road, Glasgow

In the past ten years Scotland’s cultural spaces have ramped up a gear – from Shetland through to the Borders, Lottery Funded project have enabled a wide range of cultural buildings from the developments of visitor centres to the reconfiguration of the key galleries and museums. These cultural buildings are where contemporary architecture is at its most accessible. This event will look at the elements and processes that work towards them – from funding, to client, to content, to procurement processes and also ask what lies in the future?


DECADE: Are We Building Equally Well?

What makes a space conducive to health and well-being and how can the places and buildings we encounter in our daily lives improve our health?

DECADE: Participate!

How can we get people involved in shaping a building, place or service?

DECADE: Space to Succeed

Our DECADE talk Space to Succeed looks at how we create innovative spaces that support our learners.

DECADE: The grass is always greener?

A&DS is collaborating with greenspace scotland on this Decade event and we are delighted to confirm Russell McLarty as the main speaker

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