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Spaces by Design, Dunblane – September 2010

Posted on 4 November 2011

Written by:

Guest Author

– Arranged in collaboration with Development Trust Association Scotland
– Delivered by Bureau – Design + Research (BDR)

8 & 9th September 2010 Braeport Centre, Dunblane

Participating groups:
– Artlink, Edinburgh Royal Hospital
– Dunblane Development Trust
– Glenkens Community and Arts Trust
– Walkerburn Community Development Trust

Spaces by Design is one of a series of two-day Design Training courses The Glass-House Community Led Design delivers to community groups.


When the Glass-House team arrived, we were pleasantly surprised to see all 4 groups there, rearing to get started. Several of the groups had travelled long distances to be there.

Cathy from Walkerburn DT presents their project to develop a sloping site adjacent to homes in Walkerburn.

After registrations, handing out of packs and a cuppa, Maja from The Glass-House and Wendy from DTA Scotland introduced the course. Leo and Claire from BDR started the morning with a short presentation on public space and design, and asked each of the groups to set up their workspace. The groups each had a table with a large map of their area and a corner of the hall at the lovely Braeport Centre, managed by the Dunblane Development Trust. In fact, we benefitted hugely from being in Dunblane and having the Development Trust attending the course. They shared their story of developing Dunblane in Bloom, a group that works on a voluntary basis to improve the environment of their town.

When the groups had set up a little exhibition of material about their project, each group presented the work they had done prior to attending the course, using photos, maps and documents to tell the story of their group and project.

Leo and Claire presented and discussed good public spaces with the groups and showed examples of public spaces that work, explaining what it is that makes them successful – Streets, Parks, Green Spaces, Play Spaces, Squares/Piazzas. Time for lunch from the lovely Tilly Tearooms.

The afternoon was a study tour that took the group out and about to experience public places that have been regenerated, meet and learn from the people who were involved in the process and to get ideas for their own projects.

We started off with a short tour of some of the work the Dunblane in Bloom group have done – planting in hanging baskets, flower planting along roads and upgrades made to roundabouts in the town.

Despite the rain, the study tour got off to a good start with Dunblane in Bloom’s street corner garden.
A roundabout exploring themes of local nature.

Then off to Causewayhead Park in Stirling to have a look at the recently developed play space, incorporating various new pieces of equipment (water feature, paddling pool) as well as replacing the flying fox and sand play structure and retaining existing play frames.

Leo talks with the groups about the creative landscaping, and the variety of types of spaces for all ages clearly defined by planting.

Raploch Urban Regeneration Company has over the last years been regenerating some open spaces in the Raploch area, and we in particular went to see the Riverwalk and their various activity spaces along the walk.


  With all the input from our first day, the groups were ready to get stuck in. Here are some pictures from the workshops of Day 2: