Turncoats

Scotland

Architectural debates are rubbish.
We've all been there: a panel of similar designers with similar views taking it in turns to talk at length about their similar work - too polite, too deferential, too dull. At best they are lukewarm love-ins, critically impotent, elitist and stuffy. Turncoats is a shot in the arm. Framed by theatrically provocative opening gambits, a series of debates will rugby tackle fundamental issues facing contemporary practice with a playful and combative format designed to foment open and critical discussion, turning conventional consensus on its head.

ArchiFringe and Creative Dundee present

The Glamour Chase

7.00pm, Thursday 29 September

Is Dundee losing itself in the chase for glamour? What is the cultural future of Dundee beyond razzamatazz. As the new waterfront emerges into the sunshine are the city's industrial hinterlands being left behind to decay and demolition? What areas of the city and what specific buildings within them are crucial for Dundee's future? What strategic infrastructure does the city need to nurture, both culturally and spatially, to position itself locally, nationally and internationally? Blending humour with critical thought, join us to share your views as we move towards the halfway-point of Dundee's biggest urban transformation yet.

  • 7.00pm
  • Thursday 29 September
  • Tickets are free. Booking essential.
  • Dundee Contemporary Arts
  • 152 Nethergate
  • Dundee DD1
  • Scotland

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Sorry about tomorrow

7.00pm, Thursday 21 July

The built environment is increasingly irrelevant. Modern society is built around digital space and online networks. Edinburgh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is ‘liked’ more often on Instagram than in damp, chilly reality. Nightclubs are no longer required, when friendship and flirtation is available at a swipe with Tinder, Grindr and Snapchat.

Two Edinburghs now exist in parallel, and the relationship between the physical and virtual versions grows ever-more distant. Good! It's time for us all to step away from the crumbling street and inhabit an instantaneous, clean, energy-rich and aesthetically pleasing augmented reality, all together, online. *Like!*

The Panel


  • Leah Lockhart, Director of Relate Lab and former Digital Engagement Manager for the Scottish Government

  • Chris Speed, Chair of Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh

  • Nicholas Hotham, Head of Outreach & Advocacy at Edinburgh World Heritage Trust
  • Andy Summers (Chair) co-creator of the Archifringe festival
  • 7.00pm
  • Thursday 7 July
  • Tickets are free. Booking essential.
  • Edinburgh College of Art
  • Lauriston Place
  • Edinburgh EH3 9DF
  • Scotland

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Rip it up and start again

7.00pm, Thursday 7 July

Local authorities across Scotland wield wrecking ball and dynamite prefering social cleansing to mindful mending of our working class and marginal neighbourhoods. The destruction of these communities, left to rot and degrade by successive generations of politicians, is luridly feted as a calculated process of gentrification-by-force dilutes people and place. Architects have become complicit in a one-size-fits-all strategy intrinsically weighted towards return-on-investment rather than acting as facilitators for a thoughtful process of social, cultural and economic self-generated development of community.

The Panel


  • Rebecca Davies is a participatory artist deeply integrated with the community of Elephant & Castle who are facing redevelopment of their area. Homepage

  • Paul Stallan is a founder of Stallan Brand Architects are currently working on the student development in Speirs Locks, as well as the recent masterplan for Laurieston. Paul was also a contributor for the recent Land Art Generator Initiative competition.
  • Gerry Hassan is a writer, academic and research fellow in cultural policy and producer of Imagination: Scotland’s Festival of Ideas. Homepage
  • 7.00pm
  • Thursday 7 July
  • Tickets are free. Booking essential.
  • The Glue Factory
  • 22 Farnell Street
  • Glasgow, G4 9SE
  • Scotland

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WTF!?

Turncoats Scotland is part of the Architecture Fringe festival

Any group of people with a thirst for intellectual mischief can join the Society of Turncoats and form a chapter in their city. Membership is of the society is free. Once a member your chapter can use and improve the format to host official Turncoats events. It began with Architecture, but can be transposed to other disciplines in need of an alternative format to niggle into the depths of difficult issues.

Membership entitles chapters to

  • Turncoats enamel badges plus the design files to produce more
  • Access to the source code of the Turncoats website to use for your events
  • A big bundle of images, logos, fonts and templates to help launch events
  • Access to the Turncoats network
  • A printed guide to running a Turncoats event plus digital copy
  • Support from chapters around the word

Email hello@turncoats.world about setting up a chapter