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ADS6: Body of Making

Amy Wallace

Originally from Swindon (UK), I completed my undergraduate at the University of Westminster. My third year project ‘A Home for Vivienne Westwood’ was nominated for the RIBA Bronze medal. Whilst studying my BA I also undertook an exchange semester, studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I also had the opportunity to work on-site in a summer programme working with Critical Concrete in Porto in sustainable design.

After graduated I worked as an Architectural Assistant for Hawkins\Brown, primarily focusing on mixed use residential projects. During my time there I enjoyed working in the model making workshops, fabricating sketch to final models for company-wide schemes. I also participated in the RIBA school programme, leading architecture workshops for a secondary school class.

Throughout my practice, I find inspiration from film, fashion and literature. My time at the Royal College of Art has allowed me to stretch these cross-disciplinary interests further. Fiction in architecture has been a central theme for both my years at the RCA: exampled by my first year project ‘The Consumption of Catastrophe’ which looked at architecture as a mechanism of fiction in portraying history. Fictional architecture was explored further in my dissertation examining the use of architectural sets in the contemporary horror film. This fascination in the boundary between fiction and reality is continuing with my present work – further stretching the connections between film and architecture through use of film, model making and animation. 

Degree Details

School of Architecture

ADS6: Body of Making

Out of the Clyde is a cinematic exploration of the small Scottish town of Gourock. This post-industrial landscape is continuously subjected to ideas of regeneration. The final film around three research questions:

1.      What authority should an architect have in a regenerative project?

2.     How can the personality of Gourock be captured through film, animation and models?

3.     How can the complexities of urban regeneration be presented through narrative?

These are extrapolated through a series of spatial interventions and characters that inhabit the town. The project is largely narrated through the voice of an experimental civic worker, embedded within the community. Interspersed within her makeshift office, we witness three regenerative approaches.

1988 Regeneration through festival: The Yellow Kettle

2017 Regeneration through civic design: The Lido

2028 Regeneration through environmental intervention: Flooding the Clyde 

Out of the Clyde

Out of the Clyde is the final film that follows our main character through her exploration into Gourock’s history, present and potential future. We witness trust and care being built throughout the town’s community. Through memory, interview and future provocation we see insights into intimate histories, civic failures and urban desolation. 

With thanks to Ian Wallace, Jonah Kidd and Hannah Palframan.

The Yellow Kettle
Site Model
The Lido
Site Research

The Civic Worker's office plays a central role within the film - partitioning her research into three main areas and enclosing a central site model. Whilst the language of models, reports and sketches are architecturally familiar, there is a subversion and infiltration that hints at a new embedded way of working within a community.

The Kettle
Top Down View

The Model is a central character, represented both digitally and physically. The model grounds our understanding of the interventions integrating within the town as time passes. The out of scale, colourful infiltration reiterates the ideas of non-conventional, community influenced design. The fusion of film, animation and models provide a critical commentary of our common practice as architects to dictate urban relationships in a detached top-down view.

View from Lido
Flood Defenses
Night Time

The Flood is witnessed in the final scenes of the film. This environmental intervention – caused by an influx of rain and the Clyde’s rising water level – examples an alternative urban regeneration approach. The flood rejects high-density, economically driven notions, in favour of a ritualistic environmental approach and the building of trust and interpersonal relationships.

Travelling to Gourock
The Landscape
The Clyde
Travelling to the Lido
The Lido's Pool
The Deck

The Lido represents the failure of past regeneration schemes undertaken in the town, that have been economically centred and dismissive of current and past communities. Gourock’s open air pool is one of Scotland’s oldest Lidos and has remained a central anchor within the town. The Lido within the film is an exaggerated and fictional illustration portraying the potential downfalls of fragmented rejuvenation projects. 

The Urban
The Domestic
The Landscape

The Yellow Kettle is a symbol of pride and celebration. The original Yellow Kettle was gifted by the Glasgow Garden Festival as a commemoration of resident James Watt and his steam innovation. The Kettle was reused as a tourist information kiosk where my grandmother worked in 1994. This kettle holds mysticism, lore and nostalgia for a past life in Gourock. Within the film it is fictionalised as an over-scaled, mysterious new presence that residents compare to their own memory.