Omnitecture - "Building for all"

The Omnitecture project ran for 5 days in May 2008. This blog documents the projects progress.

About Omnitecture

This is a project which has come out of an interest in small buildings, graffiti and people who contribute, in a physical way, to their environment without permission. Over the course of researching this project I have been inspired by many things, too many to list here but they include: The (Original) Street Piano in Sheffield; The Graffiti Research Lab; Santiago Cirugeda's Recetas Urbanas; but most of all The Guerrilla Gardeners.

For those that haven't heard of The Guerrilla Gardeners, they are a global movement of people who cultivate derelict and neglected public spaces without the permission of the authorities. They do this for a variety of reasons both personal and political, but mostly their works are undertaken to improve the general amenity of that location. The aim of this project is to explore if this approach can be used to erect structures that have the same goal and are accepted by the public.
I have designed five small buildings and I will be placing them in specific sites throughout Edinburgh. They will occupy alleyways, derelict sites and anonymous corners of the city These buildings include a Library, a Contemplative space, a Watch House, a Shelter and a Radio House. The buildings will be placed on site and their lives will be observed and recorded. I want to see how the buildings are used or if they are just abused. To see if they become part of the city or if they are quickly destroyed or removed.
I've set up this blog so people can post comments and give me feedback on how they feel about the buildings. I will also be leaving guest books in each of the buildings so people can leave their comments there.
Ultimately, I would like to be able to gauge the reaction of both the public and the authorities and to judge whether the buildings are seen as a nuisance or as something valuable.

4 comments:

ken said...

Spotted the sentry box on the bridge at Roseburn. Most amazing thing was the number of people who whizzed by without a second glance. Cycled back to the radio house for a closer inspection and a listen. Was mightily impressed by the webbing seat, but imagine my disappointment when I tried to wind the radio handle it came off in my hand - what more can I say...

I'll pop by again tomorrow - without trying to sound negative - is suspect the broken handle will be the least of your worries.... You never know however, it may last until Friday night when the non-local youth will deal with it, unless they use it to store their illicit booze while they go to the ice rink....

Emily said...

Hi. I found the sentry box on the Roseburn cycle path this morning on my way to college. First of all I would like to commend you on your excellent use of colour and high standard of workmanship. (workwomanship?)I wrote a wee comment in the book and a nice boy came up and thought it was my handiwork - mainly because it matched my outfit and my pink bike fabulously. I thought about passing it off as my own for a second but my moral compass got the better of me. On the way home I used the opportunity to take advantage of the seat and drink some water whilst listening to the radio. Then I noticed that someone had written 'splishy splashy' in the visitors book. All of those trees around and boys will still go out of their way to piss on the seat. Charming. Keep up the random cheer. Emily.

Alex W. said...

Saw one of your little huts on Gorgie Road yesterday, the one with the tea-lights in it. Looking forward to seeing what it's named.

ken said...

Saddened to see my prophecy came true on Friday night. I wandered past the Roseburn hut and was disappointed to see the wanton damage that had been done. Not content with knocking the hut over, the perpetrators smashed the grill and took the radio. I re-righted the hut albeit not too steadily but when I passed again around 3:30pm with my daughter, it was over again... See http://picasaweb.google.com/xk9977/Omnitecture. On the plus side, we walked past the one in Gorgie road, so she saw one of the shelters in its full glory.