Repeat of display from exhibition of The Lighthouse, Glasgow.
S.O.L like its predecessor G.L.A.S, (Glasgow Letters on Architecture and Space), emerged out of a postgraduate design studio at Strathclyde University's Department of Architecture where we have endeavoured in our projects over the past fifteen years to provide a critique of the contemporary built environment. One of the recurring themes of the studio has been the history of work places and the spatial consequences of de-industrialisation, issues that informed G.L.A.S' contribution to the international travelling exhibition Shrinking Cities and the development of the S.O.L project.
S.O.L began life as a series of mapping exercises. Students were asked to select a natural resource or commodity, research it and then develop a strategy for the transformation of the built environment based around the history and production of their chosen subject. The projects displayed and explored in the exhibition, catalogue and website are representative of the different types of response that vary from the development of new forms of agricultural production to ideas for new building typologies. For example the investigations into coal and fishing are primarily observational and document the traces of vanishing lives, the work on seaweed, slate and recycling are propositional, whereas the projects that feature broad rural and urban panoramas are clearly speculative and try to envision more general transformations in our agricultural and industrial landscapes.