The Happenstance: Dispatch 3

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Scotland + Venice: Dispatch 3 of 12

Into the Mouth of the Wolf: Peter McCaughey

In this dispatch, anti-curator of The Happenstance, Peter McCaughey, tells the story of one day to illustrate how, from the moment the Scottish team find the garden, “the daily incidence of co-incidence and good fortune is uncanny”. The day is run through breathlessly, with a score of bird song, singing, music, talking, playing and making, resounding throughout the day.  The “expect to get lucky” mantra leads to the chance encounter which increases the serendipity and manufactures the magic (with some tension to add a bit of spice!) – all happening in that one day, amongst days, in the Garden of Epiphanies.

The Happenstance / Scotland + Venice: Scotland’s critically acclaimed contribution to the 16th International Architecture exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia 2018. Curated by WAVEparticle.


The image shows an evening film screening taking place in the garden of Palazzo Zenobio.

Image credit: Graham Ross

Posted 16 September 2020




The Happenstance: Dispatch 1

Introduction: Morag Bain. First in a series of twelve publications or ‘dispatches’, exploring the themes of, and learning from The Happenstance.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 2

Venice Reflective: Lee Ivett. A successful public space is one that suggests possibility and opportunity rather than dictates and instructs behaviour.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 4

My Experience as a Fellow at The Happenstance: Theo Shack. Immersive education, and the possibilities that might not otherwise happen.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 5

Venice / Local Context: Alberto Lago. How the memory of The Happenstance is still alive today in the minds of the Venetian people.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 6

Play: Brian Hartley. Play as a spontaneous and creative process, and how it opens vital conversations and actions.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 7

Tools of the Trade: Peter McCaughey. A focus on five principal tools, of the many tools and tactics used.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 8

One A to Z of Making Connections: Peter McCaughey. Exploring the variety of ways connections were made between individuals and organisations.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 9

Participatory Practice: Ian Gilzean. How participation and community empowerment inspires people to realise their creativity and sense of ownership.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 10

A Conversation, a Workshop and Afterwards: Elizabeth Murphy and Emily Speed. Teams are able to make something much bigger, layered and profound.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 11

The Happenstance: a Lively Scottish-Venetian freespace: Phineas Harper. The engagement of the Venetians to the “open to all” of The Happenstance.

The Happenstance: Dispatch 12

The Ongoing Legacy: Morag Bain and Peter McCaughey. It continues through events, tools shared, the friendships and connections being made.

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