Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nou Norge Gem in the Rough

Scotland on Sunday recently published my travel piece on coastal Norwegian town Ålesund. The vibrancy of the town combined with the enthusiastic forward thinking from local creatives such as architects Sandbakk & Patterson and the owners of design hub and gourmet coffee cafe Invit left me with a memorable and favorable impression. Aside from these innovators there was room for restauarants with water-side access to allow for the delivery of fresh seafood everyday and a hotel designed by the world renowned architects Snøhetta, Hotel Brosundet. While the experience was resoundingly positive, when comparing my hometown of Aberdeen to Ålesund it paints a grey picture of the lack of culture vibrancy supported by the local state and private sector in Scotland's Granite City. With proposed projects such as concreting over a renowned Victorian garden (one of the only green spaces in the city centre) to become a carpark and consumer playground it is left to young artists to support themselves and develop Aberdeen's culture identity independently. One of the few sprouts of green shoots in the creative sector in Aberdeen has been the transofrmation of a derelict basement site into the base for 26 Collective. I hope that for the sake of the city, these young innovators are allowed to flourish and paint a more gleaming picture of the city.
scanned image of Scotland on Sunday, Spectrum magazine 9th May 2010.

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