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.