From Venice to Oban: Prospect North exhibition to have its Scottish premiere

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3 kilometres of wooden stakes, 1,200 plywood tiles and over 7,000 screws make up the Scotland + Venice: Prospect North exhibition which has its Scottish Premiere in Oban on Friday 29 July.

Prospect North: Scottish exhibition first shown at Venice architecture Biennale to open in Oban as part of the Oban Festival of Architecture.

The Prospect North exhibition invites audiences to look north during Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, as the exhibition showcasing Scotland’s innovative community projects returns from the Venice Biennale to open at the Rockfield Centre in Oban. The exhibition will be open to the public from 30 July – 21 August. 

The exhibition explores Scotland’s community based initiatives – where design and architecture have made a difference to a wide range of places. It also looked at Scotland’s relation to its northern neighbours through narratives, portraits and evocative imagery, and highlights Scotland’s place and identity within an economically emerging northern region. 

Designed by Lateral North the exhibition features a topographical map of Scotland – made up of a total of 3 kilometres of wooden stakes, 1,200 plywood tiles and put together with over 7,000 screws and it allowed audiences in Venice to be transported to Scotland through Augmented Reality videos and maps – created by Glasgow firm Soluis.

The exhibition – which tells the stories of a range of community projects – will be officially launched in Scotland by Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop on Friday 29 July at part of the Oban Festival of Architecture.

Prospect North is an immersive exhibition, looking at the relationship between people, culture, places, industries and economies around the country.  It shows the ways in which ‘peripheral’ communities, ranging from the Northern Isles of Orkney to the industrial heartland of the central belt of Scotland are being re-energised through grassroots actions and local endeavours.  The unique situations and background of 15 projects are revealed through their stories from the past, present and plans for the future.  

The exhibition was created by Lateral North, Dualchas Architects and Soluis, co-curated by Architecture and Design Scotland and commissioned by the Scotland + Venice partnership – Scottish Government, Architecture and Design Scotland, Creative Scotland and the British Council Scotland.

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

“Scotland’s architecture policy recognises the links between good design and participation, and how community input, vision and leadership in Scotland has delivered real benefits. Lateral North and Dualchas are adopting a truly innovative and illuminating approach to how architecture can be the heart of improving outcomes for communities in Scotland.”

Karen Anderson, Chair of Architecture and Design Scotland, said: 

“Scotland has an important story to tell of how, over recent years, local communities have worked with architects and others to improve their rural and urban areas. In May and June this year Lateral North – with Dualchas Architects and Soluis – brought individual Scottish community stories and examples of successful projects to Venice to provide inspiration for the many countries represented at La Biennale Architettura 2016. We are now delighted to be able to bring these stories to the inspiring Rockfield Centre in Oban for the exhibition’s Scottish premiere.”

Commenting on Prospect North, Graham Hogg and Tom Smith of Lateral North said: 

“It was a huge honour for us to be chosen in collaboration with Dualchas Architects to be the lead consultant for this year’s Scottish contribution to la Biennale Architettura 2016.  It is a hugely exciting project and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”

Scotland + Venice: Prospect North forms part of Scotland’s celebrations of architecture in 2016 – a year in which the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) celebrates its centenary with the nationwide Festival of Architecture and the Scottish Government has designated 2016 as the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Through a series of exciting events and activity, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector. The Festival of Architecture is a major, year-long, Scotland-wide celebration led by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) bringing Scottish architecture to life. 

In conjunction with the Prospect North exhibition the Rockfield Centre will also host two national touring exhibitions: Scotstyle and Best of the Best.

Scotstyle asks the public to vote for their favourite building from the past 100 years as part of the Festival of Architecture 2016 and Scotland’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. The results will be announced at the Festival’s Finale event in November and voting will take place on the festival website or votes can be cast in person at the touring exhibition.

The Best of the Best highlights the past five years of award-winning buildings, places and communities as recognised by eight national organisations, including work by students, communities, designers and architects from across Scotland.

The Best of the Best and Scotstyle exhibitions will run at the Rockfield centre until 7 August, whilst Prospect North will run until 21st of August.

 Speaking about the Scotland + Venice exhibition Clive Gilman, Director of Creative Industries at Creative Scotland said:

 “We’re really pleased to be supporting Lateral North and Dualchas Architects in delivering this exciting project for Venice. This is a special year for Scotland with The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Festival of Architecture both taking place and a real spotlight being shone on the strengths of Scotland’s architecture community. This project will demonstrate the vision of this community to the world, before returning to Scotland where it will be seen across the country.”

Norah Campbell, Head of Arts, British Council Scotland:

“Through the Scotland + Venice partnership, British Council Scotland is delighted to be working with Lateral North, Dualchas Architects and Soluis to showcase the breadth of creative talent and work taking place across Scotland  at this prestigious international event, and to support the strengthening of international connections for architects, artists and community leaders who will take part in a programme of international workshops on community empowerment, identity and wellbeing in Venice.”

Commenting on Prospect North, Alasdair Stephen,  Dualchas Architects said,

“We are delighted that Dualchas and Lateral North have been given this opportunity to represent Scotland at La Biennale di Venezia. It is a huge responsibility and also a great privilege.”

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