Scotland’s High Street: Past it’s sell by date

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Designer Gillian Kyle helped launch Architecture + Design Scotland’s latest exhibition High Street at a photocall.

How can the traditional High Street shape the economic future of Scotland’s urban areas? What do the people of Scotland think of their High Streets? How did our towns and cities develop to look the way they do? A new exhibition created by Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) probes the past, present and future of our traditional High Streets and asks what lies in store for the various high streets across Scotland.

The exhibition features specifically commissioned films from 15 towns and cities across Scotland gathering people’s ideas, memories and visions for their High Streets. The featured High Streets range in size from Sanqhuar to Glasgow, and covers the country from Peebles to Elgin.

The exhibition also explores how the current fabric of our towns and cities still strongly reflect the traditional High Street of markets, places of commerce and social exchange and looks at how the architecture and design of our streets have changed over the years responding to developments in technology and the retail expectations of shoppers.

Speaking about the exhibition Karen Anderson, Chair of Architecture and Design Scotland, said “Our local High Streets are important public spaces, vital in establishing thriving communities and local economic growth. The future of our High Streets is a highly topical issue and this exhibition shows the High Street’s evolution. We hope this exhibition will provoke the visitor to consider what the future may hold for the High Street.”

The exhibition looks at everything from the impact of car and fridge ownership through to current schemes that include community run businesses and introductions of local currencies to revitalise the High Street. It has gathered a broad range of information from across Scotland to present a snapshot of the state of today’s High Street.

On Saturday December 10th to mark the opening of the High Street exhibition, Architecture and Design Scotland is pleased to announce a very special Christmas shopping experience: the Made in the Shade Holiday Hullabaloo which will showcase 40 independent makers – including fashion, jewelry and gifts. A&DS will also be running its cardboard High Street workshops which will allow visitors – young and old – to create their own High Street get away from the stresses of Christmas shopping.

Find out more about the exhibition and the events on www.ads.org.uk�

Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) is Scotland’s champion for excellence in placemaking, architecture and planning. High Street opens on December 9th and runs until April 17th 2012 at Level 2, The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU. The exhibition is open Monday-Saturday from 10:30-5pm. Admission Free. (Extended opening hours in December when The Lighthouse will stay open until 6pm. The Lighthouse will close on Christmas Eve and re-open on January 4th 2012)

The fifteen high streets included in the High Street Exhibition are from:
Arbroath, Ayr, Dumfries, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Elgin, Forres, Glasgow, Kirkcaldy, Lanark, North Berwick, Paisley, Peebles, Perth and Sanquhar. Please note that in all towns/cities studied the street called High Street was surveyed.

For further information about the exhibition please contact:
Anja Ekelof, Communications Manager, Architecture + Design Scotland on
E: anja.ekelof [at] ads.org.uk�

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