Andy Summers: Architecture is a Fringe activity

Andy Summers is co-producer of the Architecture Fringe
Andy Summers is co-producer of the Architecture Fringe
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Architecture is all around us. We live in it, we work in it, we play in it, we also pay for it, own it and are emotionally affected by it - sometimes in joy, sometimes in fear.

How architecture comes into being and how we engage with it is the key concern for the Architecture Fringe. Initially appearing in 2016 within the Scottish Government’s then Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the ArchiFringe is back this year with more than 50 projects, events, exhibitions, talks, tours and live performances across Scotland.

This year’s overall theme is ‘infrastructure’, where new voices, ideas and activity is encouraged in tandem with a look at how our shared neighbourhoods, public culture and civic services are structured and delivered.

In Edinburgh there are a number of great events on this year’s programme. Open Close looks to reinvigorate the closes of the Old Town with art and temporary installations to encourage more people to venture off the Royal Mile and to enhance the spatial nature of these narrow spaces.

Creative Riot sees emerging artists, musicians and performers from north Edinburgh take over the Leith Theatre for two nights of choreographed creative mayhem.

The critical need for a new live music venue in Leith has been given a great boost recently by this year’s Hidden Door. Leith Creative continue this conversation with architects Lateral North.

They’re also forming a new directory for Leith, of people, places, buildings and structures with architects Biomorphis which will be a great and important local resource.

Down in Restalrig, Lochend and Portobello the recently-graduated Civic Soup team are popping-up along the railway path with installations encouraging more people to use and benefit from the route.

And finally the closing lecture for this year’s ArchiFringe at the National Museum sees curator Beatrice Galilee from MOMA in New York discuss architecture in a global context with architect Sam Jacob and journalist Cath Slessor. A fitting end to a great programme.

Across this year’s programme people are trying to make a difference to how we collectively live together. The ArchiFringe exists to inspire, encourage and support this work with the aim of helping us all understand the impact architecture has on us, but importantly, too, how we can all take action to help shape the environments that we want live, work and play in.

We hope you’ll join us across July.

Andy Summers is co-producer of the Architecture Fringe