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 29th September 16

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

Sorry about tomorrow

12:00am, Thursday 21st July 16

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

Rip it up and start again

7:00pm, Thursday 7th July 16

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


Turncoats is a provocative global debating society turning public discourse on its head, shaking and serving over ice. It is off the record, offline and riddled with devil’s advocates hiding in plain sight.  Prepare for big arguments from surprising places, where the only allegiances are to the spirit of the fight.

Turncoats is a project founded by Phineas Harper and Maria Smith with the support of Robert Mull and the Architecture Foundation. For all enquiries write to hello@turncoats.uk.

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Site built by Ben Chernett