Scotland’s town planners are being given a run for their money by a group of students from West College Scotland who are taking on a challenge, called Place Matters -‘Images of Enterprise’, to come up with artistic interpretations of what an enterprising town should look like.

One of the early ideas put forward has proposed that town skylines could be radically redesigned.

The students, who all live in the Paisley, Greenock and Clydebank areas, will research their towns to get an historic view on how they used to work – and then use their creative skills to re-invent them.

They will create a range of art displays, including photography and installations to challenge the way we look at our places. Ultimately, they will be able to visualise a better way of using community landmarks, such as old shipyards and empty stores, to create hundreds of jobs for people working for themselves.

This will make up part of the creative students’ curriculum and will help them learn and use new enterprise skills as well as engage with local employers and their communities.

The project is part of an ongoing project called #PlaceMatters from and is being run in partnership with West College Scotland in Paisley from November until March 2016.

Iain Scott from Can Do Places said: “The world of work is changing dramatically and more and more people are having to create their own jobs. This is a great way of getting enterprise into education and could end up with students discovering ideas that they could eventually turn into businesses.

We want the students to interact with businesses and the community and, through this body of work, say: “ My place is enterprising ‘I never thought of it like that.”

Audrey Cumberford, principal of West College Scotland, said: “We are very proud of our students creative and enterprising abilities so this is an excellent opportunity to put them into practice. We need to find new ways of helping our students make the most of themselves and recognise the role and importance of enterprise, of all kinds, in their community. By looking at their area from an enterprise perspective they will identify opportunities as well as develop pride in their place.

This project is just one of the great ways that the Place Matters campaign is working with artists and entrepreneurs to improve our places and spaces by using a creative approach.”

Here are some of the ideas that students have already come up with:

• Camera obscura: Building a camera obscura in Paisley
• Design for tuppenny tower in Paisley
• Photo exchange – a pop up shop that will take a copy of your old picture and add it to our archives in exchange for taking a new picture
• Picture in hand project – recreating a scene and how it has changed using an old photo from the paisley collection
• Paisley skyline – creation of a new paisley skyline using editing

Just the initial student ideas from photography and media, the students will go on to evaluate the viability of the concept and see how they change and shift as the project evolves.

The resulting artwork and projects will be displayed at West College Scotland and at the #PlaceMatters show on 3rd March at Drygate Brewery.

SOURCE: Scottish Construction Now

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