SLAPS designed the Glasgow-Rella and the Calm Tree for SWG3 after four months of user-research and regular observation around Glasgow outdoor spaces.
“The structure combines two symmetrical steel frames against each other’s back, giving a total of four steps where people can sit and step on, or place their drinks, food and jackets. Between them, a taller pillar gives additional space for placing personal items and it also has the function of sustaining the two covers of the Glasgow-Rella: a yellow and wobbly slice of cheese (PU sheeting) and a wavy crispy piece of bacon (corrugated sheeting).”
Giulia Fiorista and Ed White of SLAPS
“The Calm Tree is notable for its central big, blue, soft, punching bag. An additional theme that we were considering alongside the Glasgow weather was the theme of anxiety. We shared our daily experiences on anxieties, from punching pillows and biting nails to running marathons! At the top of the Calm Tree, a bunch of tassels can be pulled down like tree brunches or combed like hair. On top of its galvanised roots, the Calm Tree presents a circular seating area which can host a maximum of fifteen people sitting together very closely, or six people sitting a little more spread out.”
Giulia Fiorista and Ed White of SLAPS
“Eccentric? Ephemeral? Rude? Emotional? What would the design objects of today look like if designers had the freedom to work with more radical approaches?”
This is the question posed by design curator and founder of Local Heroes, Stacey Hunter. Galvanize! is a Local Heroes project creating an opportunity for designers to consider The Galvanizer’s outdoor space in the context of shelter, shade and seating with a vision that is exuberant and captivating.
SLAPS are a young experience design studio based in Glasgow who specialise in the physical realm of product and service design and focus on how a service or experience feels for the people who interact with it.
“In Spring 2017 Local Heroes and SWG3 commissioned our dream project – a challenge to the norms we had been used to in our industry and a challenge to us.”
The brief is wide-open: in a large outdoor events space, design unknown objects that can also be used as furniture.
“We were finally able to use our instincts with no guidelines, sketches or pre-conceived ideas and we were encouraged to take responsibility and to think ambitiously about all aspects of the project from the materials we used, to the functions of the final product.”
Constructed using materials like galvanized steel and plastic – these exuberant design objects punctuate the open space with bursts of colour. Fabricated by Glasgow’s newest fabrication workshop Alien & Daughters the pieces are suitable for sitting, eating and drinking and are intended to withstand the Scottish weather with ease.
With Local Heroes, Stacey Hunter joins Turner Prize winning sculptor Martin Boyce and art curator Patricia Fleming who have all been invited by SWG3 to catalyse The Galvanizers extending the arts venue’s exhibition and events programme.
Generously funded by Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, the first exhibits from Local Heroes will coincide with the design and food themed Hypermarket events throughout the summer of 2017.
Making space for radical design
The starting point for ‘Galvanize!’ is an essay by Paul Goldberger (Design Research, 2010) proposing that the dream of modern design made available to everyone has broadly come true — from Ikea to IPhones, never before have more people been able to enjoy modern design. The consequence of design moving to the centre however, is that space for creativity in design has been reduced — what was once radical is now commonplace. Local Heroes responds with Galvanize! offering the design team creative freedom and encourages an experimental approach that embraces the avant-garde, the unpredictable and the playful.
Local Heroes & SWG3
Local Heroes is a cultural project which works to promote Scottish design at home and internationally and SWG3’s expansion is an exciting place to present new ideas about the role of design in everyday life to large and diverse audiences.
Located in Glasgow’s West End, SWG3 houses design studios, a gallery, club nights, and mini-festivals and is home to a community of over 120 creatives.
We are delighted to present these radical new designs to the public this summer. We asked Local Heroes to commission fun, bright interventions into our new outdoor exhibition and events space and are delighted that SWG3 can continue to be a test bed for exciting new cultural projects like Galvanize!
Andrew Fleming Brown, SWG3 Director
The SWG3 public programme is generously funded by Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.
Creative Scotland is proud to be supporting the inaugural event, Galvanize! from the curators of Local Heroes, for SWG3’s public programme in their newly created outdoor space Yardworks. This project encourages local, and international designers, to work together to develop new bold, daring, poetic and confronting installations to populate this new creative space for the city of Glasgow. We are very excited to part of this project, which will engage the public with the latest in contemporary Scottish and international design from artists and creatives of the highest quality.
Andrew Leitch, Creative Industries & Capital Projects Officer