Analogical Scotland

Cameron McEwan* (Designer)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Non-textual formDesign

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A 24hr international competition for ideas with the aim to masterplan a city of the future.

When Aldo Rossi put forward the concept of the Analogical City in the 1970s it was partly toward a critique of technocratic city planing and the ethos that underpins planning, which is to say, instrumental reason and the market economy. Against instrumental reason, the analogical city reasons by critical thought and speculation. It is not a stretch of the imagination to say that instrumental reason is now more than ever the fundamental ideology. Analogical Scotland updates Rossi’s concept of the analogical city to push back against instrumentality and commodity form.

Analogical Scotland is a reading of Scotland as a city. The project articulates a new Topographical/Urban axis between the Highlands and Islands in the North West to Edinburgh in the South East, and the Urban axis between Glasgow on the South West to Dundee in the North East. These four places provide the formal material of the project. Compelling areas of each place are identified and the primary urban type is used as the urban fabric for Analogical Scotland. From the Highlands and Islands the terrain is displaced and an archipelago of urban islands is the main analogue. From Dundee the long street with a slight bend is identified. From Edinburgh the gardens and circular parks become the urban fabric. From Glasgow the grid is used. A void is then cut into each of the quadrants, so that instead of a figural object, a space is created. This space – a City Room – is an intensification of its Scotland analogue, rescaled and transformed into a void. In Analogical Scotland, the square void is a hard landscaped piazza, the line is a street and the circle is a park.
In the contemporary city, the division between housing, commerce, services, industry, etc, is extremely diffuse. Indeed, the house is often the productive space per excellence. For this reason, Analogical Scotland is not functionally zoned. There is no “Down Town,” no “CBD,” no “Campus.” Every building condenses multiple kinds of programme: education and factory, housing and offices, workshops and hotels, exhibitions and studios. Analogical Scotland serves a population of approximately 250,000 inhabitants. It is positioned at the intersection of the Topographical/Urban axis to organise future development and so reduce the scattered sprawl that pervades the territory.

Knowledge, Ethics, Aesthetics
On one hand Analogical Scotland is a reading of Scotland. It produces situational and formal knowledge of the Scotland territory, articulating a new structuring axis and urban typologies. On the other hand, every reading is a generative tool. The analogue becomes a critical project to study Scotland’s urban form in relation to the avant-garde canon of architectural projects – Ungers, Hilberseimer, Rossi, others – and develop an architectural discourse on the city. Now more than ever a critical discourse is needed.
Against technocracy. Against instrumentality. Against commodity form. There is a need for an ethics and aesthetics of the city, underpinned by critical agency and informed citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBraga
PublisherIF-Ideas Forward
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2017


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