Bonnie Dundee – A meeting place in the garden

Our Surroundings, Marine Parade, Victoria Dock & Dundee

Contemporary Arts Center Dundee

Curator: Katrina Brown

Photo: Apolonija Šušteršič

Workshop In Collaboration With Meike Schalk

Two pages from the original notebook of Patrick Geddes describing the future vision of the location around Dundee Contemporary Arts; lawn with greenhouse containing a platform made of Betonplex (concrete plywood) and wood with storage and office space; plants, chairs, tables; maps, books, notebooks for ideas and other materials to support discussions.

The idea of a meeting place within a garden refers to Patrick Geddes (a professor of Botany at Dundee University 1888–1918) and his methods of teaching and debating. He believed that nature provided a strong and positive influence on the human brain, enabling us to produce positive thoughts about our living environment. The meeting place was created within a simple prefabricated glass-house on a location set for immediate urban development. The glass-house was placed on an added lawn overlooking the river and equipped with plants, books, and other information material to support discussions. The house was open and free to use by anyone involved or interested in the development of the city of Dundee and could even be booked for meetings during the exhibition.

An important part of the project was the workshop conceptualized together with architect and theoretician Meike Schalk. The local inhabitants, as well as architects, planners, politicians, and activists, were invited to participate in the workshop, which consisted of walks, site visits, discussions, and lectures. At the end of the project, the glass-house was donated to the old activist group Barnhill Rockgardens for future debates on the development of their city.

Participants in the workshop: Amanda Moncur, Peter Sandwell, Jim Noble, Bobby Heron, Anne-Marie Watson, Richie Cumming, Gill Motion, Susan Smith, Alan Fraser, Brian Gibb, David G Hughes, Sarah Glynn, Isla Robb, Doug Mclaren, Shona Main, Chris Hind, Jonathan Thomson, Andrew Nicoll, MAPPING Group, YALP (Young Adult Literacies Project), Out & About, Monifieth High, DCA.

Biblioteca | Library: The Uses of Disorder (Richard Sennett); The Fall of Public Man (Richard Sennet), Sociable Cities: The Legacy of Ebenezer Howard (Peter Hall, Colin Ward); Cities for a Small Country (Richard Rogers, Anne Power); Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the Twentieth Century (Peter Hall); Superstudio: Life Without Objects (Peter Lang, William Menking); Public and Private Spaces of the City (Ali Madanipour); Cities Without Cities: An Interpretation of the Zwischenstadt (Thomas Sieverts); Writings on Cities (Henri Lefebvre); Changing Anarchism: Anarchist Theory and Practice in a Global Age (J. Purkis/J. Bowen, eds.); The City of Collective Memory: Its Historical Imagery and Architectural Entertainments (M. Cristine Boyer); The City Cultures Reader (M. Miles/T. Hall/I. Borden, eds.); Groundswell: Constructing the Contemporary Landscape (Peter Reed, ed.), Urban Futures (M. Miles/T. Hall, eds.); Happy – Cities and Public Happiness in Post-War Europe (Cor Wagenaar, ed.); An Urban Experiment in Central Berlin: Planning Potsdamer Platz (V. Magnago Lampugnani/R. Schneider, eds.); Ecology and Anarchism (Brian Morris); Urban Planning and Activism, Patrick Geddes, City Development/A Report on the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust by Patrick Geddes and Bonnie Dundee.