What if…?/ Scotland — Places


Johannes Gonani, Citizen

I wish… that minority voices were heard as loud and clear as other voices in decision making.

Anne Duff + Cathy Houston, Voices of Experience

What if… the power of the White Cart Water was harnessed once more, to create employment opportunities for minority groups?

Paisley’s prosperity arose from harnessing its river through industry and human endeavour. The proposal returns to this idea, harnessing the White Cart Water to produce green, affordable, energy and creating opportunity for employment. Bringing together minority groups and their traditional skills, these artisans would share a space for display and selling. The open space externally would allow gathering and multicultural events, whilst workers’ accommodation would be full of light in homage to the old mill buildings.

Linzi Clark, Citizen

I wish… I felt inspired and excited as I walk through Paisley.

Ffion Roberts, 7N Architects

What if… Paisley’s public spaces were unified by a unique identity which provided a platform to showcase local talents and interests?

Shuttle Street is an area with unrealised potential to thrive as a cultural district. Through simple interventions, a unique identity could be developed to emphasise the already present musical and artistic culture. This could be achieved by the removal of all visual and physical barriers to create a continual relationship between key cultural establishments and introducing local artwork and crafts to create distinctive gateways into the district. Shuttle Street could become an area that demonstrates the talents and possibilities prevalent in the local community.

Gillian Steel, Citizen

I wish… Paisley could build on its identity as a place where things are made and give everyone the opportunity to do hands-on work.

Gerry Grams, Threesixty Architecture

What if… Paisley became a ‘maker’ town rather than a retail centre, allowing it to reconnect with its proud heritage of textile design and manufacturing?

Paisley should be a town of social inclusion, with opportunities to learn lifelong skills available to all. Paisley could provide spaces for research into new fabric technologies, reference libraries, recycling and equipment hire and with gardens providing plots for experimental growing of indigenous ingredients in the production of natural materials. On the High Street, a Cloth Hall could showcase products and historic buildings could be converted by removing retail units at ground floor connecting to courtyard gardens and access to ‘makers’ studios above.

Alison Love, Citizen

I wish… that being a wheelchair user didn’t limit what I can do, where I can go and how long I can stay.

Graeme Nicholls, Graeme Nicholls Architects

What if… Fountain Gardens, one of Paisley’s most important public parks, had an accessible performance space and toilet facilities for disabled people?

Accessibility is a key issue common to many places. Although Fountain Gardens is a lovely park there could be more things to do there. A disused area on the western edge of the gardens would make an ideal location for a performance space incorporating accessible facilities for the whole community. The palette of materials is inspired by the town’s historical connections to the textile industry, using concrete cast with a Paisley pattern finish, and coloured pigments associated with Paisley’s traditional fabrics.

Dr Valerie Wright, Citizen

I wish… Paisley had a dedicated quarter where creativity, production and a new culture could emerge.

Ian Alexander and Henry McKeown, JM Architects

What if… this block was transformed into a ‘making’ place?

The proposal is a Victorian for an urban block; an intact piece of Paisley’s historic fabric with commercial units at ground level. Characteristic of many street frontages in the town, the majority of these units are unoccupied. At dusk walking through this area is eerily quiet and threatening. The idea is about resurrecting Paisley’s artisan culture by creating a new making quarter where at night-time the lights in the building give views of people busy working, making and creating.

To watch the What if…?/Paisley film, click here.