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House in the City

Collection: School of Architecture Collection - 2000
Object Type: Heritage
Artist/Maker: Aberdeen Council
Date: 2005
Media/Materials: wood
Dimensions: overall: 19.2 cm x 23.3 cm x 3.5 cm
Classification: Architecture


Item ABDRG2010.120.2 is a hinged box (possible wooden) that is finished in a navy mock croc vinyl. This box houses a plaque that was produced as a result of the LOOK festival from the 15th-24th June 2005, described as “A ten day celebration of the arts in Aberdeen See your city in a different light. Discover the power of imagination.” in the accompanying brochure at
The festival was sponsored by Aberdeen City Council and RGU and took place in various locations around the city of Aberdeen. This item is a plaque to detail a piece of work entitled House Building
This was a series of miniature houses created by Professor Jonathan Wool. These were an installation at The Green, St. Nicholas, Castlegate in Aberdeen
Engraving on the plaque reads:
The project invites reflection on the nature of the city and how we choose to make it. The installation of miniature houses refers back to a known building type, the bothy, a traditional Scottish vernacular small dwelling. It is dignified, humble and strong, representing our nostalgic lodging to live independently, surrounded by nature.
The layout however mimics the march of suburban development that has blurred the relationship between city and countryside while at the same time creating a whole new set of spatial and cultural conditions. The project refers back to the roots of the site pre 1666 (the great fire of London) when the urbanscape was composed from timber buildings. The project will engage with local Scholl children who will work with the Robert Gordon’s University’s students to explore ways these building forms can be developed and configured in their location.
The installation requires participants to consider ‘change’, living and dwelling in cities in the past, present and future.
The intervention has a unique link with the site sponsor Mitsubishi . Aberdeen was home to the renowned Scottish entrepreneur Thomas Black Glover, who pioneered the Japanese industrial revolution whose promotion of modern coal-mining, ship-building and other technologies later grew into the industrial giant Mitsubishi group.
In considering his extraordinary achievements, the story also reminds us of the powerful and positive forces of change that can help shape the fortunes of cities and their inhabitants.

Object Number: ABDRG2010.120.2

Plaque given to the Scot Sutherland School of Architecture and built environment as a result of their involvement with the art festival 'LOOK 'in 2005