We would like to invite you to take part in a temporary landart and landscape initiative called YELLOWFIELD at University of Strathclyde’s Mobileland site, behind the Greek Thompson Church off Laurieston Rd. in Gorbals.

With the support of the University of Strathclyde, Green Glasgow 2015 and Glasgow City Council, YELLOWFIELD is creating environmental awareness and debate on smart and sustainable ideas, through the transformation of a brownfield site into ecologically productive land. This project aims to reanimate future brownfield sites: from Brown to Green.

YELLOWFIELD started on the 1st of May 2015 with the planting of 200 sunflower seedlings and it will complete in November 2015 once the plants have past their annual lifespan.

The main focus point for discussion is the promotion of Phytoremediation in the urban environment. Sunflowers are a very effective plant for cleaning soils contaminated with industrial waste. It is being seen around the world as a clean, cost effective and environmentally friendly way to reclaim and reuse land. Sunflowers are being used because of their quick growth and size and their visual appeal. The sunflowers take in the toxins from the soil as they would nutrients, at the end of the year’s growth the plant is removed from the site and destroyed.

The project is a pioneering initiative led by The University of Strathclyde. Dr Cristian Suau (Architecture); Dr Christine Switzer (Civil & Environmental Engineering) and Amanda Currie (external landscape artist & gardener) are the main team. MOBILELAND Garden performs as a catalyst for community actions; produces an improvement in the aesthetics and rebrands stigmatised residential areas; contributes to the green infrastructure of the city; and generates safe public places for local dwellers.

This invitation enclosed is a poster to the open day on the 22nd August 2015. Fell free to invite your friends, family and colleagues. It will start with a welcome talk at 11am followed by guide visits led by Amanda Currie and Dr Christine Switzer within the YELLOWFIELD garden. An eco-food pavilion called ‘The Food Slot’ will provide food and soft drink during the event. Visitors will also have the opportunity to have their say on the initiative, by way of verbal feedbacks, photography and video recording.

We also hope you find this a project of interest for the local community and will consider assisting us with informing residents, local businesses and community groups about the project, in particular the open day on the 22nd August. If you would like any more information, please contact Amanda: or by phone 07886 196 089.

There is also more information at the MOBILELAND Garden’s website:


Dr Cristian Suau

Amanda Currie

Dr Christine Switzer

Close-up of Sunflower seed. texture background



cinema pneumatica

“cinema PNEUMATICA” is a mobile inflatable pavilion where people instead of watching a movie in a conventional manner becomes the scene of the cinematic spectacle. There are multiple projection surfaces with different textures and material properties which allow the images to materialize in many layers. Furthermore, bodies of the visitors interact with light and projections creating constantly changing patterns and scenarios. The pavilion is situated on the ‘forgotten’ land and invites to celebrate the vacant space, the moment and the unexpected temporary encounter. We seek to create a situation of enstrangement as well as to provide an adventurous space to experience individual psychogeographies. Emotions here are stimulated through sound, light and kinetic movement. The design seeks to use as less as possible typical architectural heavy materials in order to create social & emotional space. Fabrics were picked in order to achieve ergonomics, mobility and lighteness factor. Furthermore, fabric is easy and inspiring material to work with having a limited budget, offering opportunities to play with shape, light, translucency, vibration and reflection. It is a project by MArch students (URBAN RESTART) which explores unbuilt environment and low tech architecture in order to bring neglected spaces into use.

More info:

19:00-21:00 pm walkaround session

21:30-23:00 pm audiovisual session (book in advance)

NOTE: In case of severe wind or rain on the day the event will be postponed.





Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset


Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset


The phenomenon of shrinking cities worldwide has generated many derelict voids. If left to fall into neglectfulness and urban inertia, these spaces will have a detrimental effect on local neighbourhoods regarding environmental quality, social health and local economies. Collective allotment gardens in Glasgow provide places to play and to learn about nature and technologies as well as to do something useful for your personal development and people encounters and affordable techniques for gardening, food production and harvesting in cities.

The recent implementation of MOBILELAND garden at Gorbals offers a variety of opportunities to deliver locally social, environmental and economic benefits. MOBILELAND garden performs as a catalyst for community actions; produces an improvement in the aesthetics and rebrands stigmatised residential areas; contributes to the green infrastructure of the city; and generates safe public places for local dwellers.

This summer a pioneering landscape recovery initiative called ‘YELLOWFIELD’ at MOBILELAND garden has recently been established to reactivate the existing greenfield with 50 sunflower planters and phytoremediation soil treatment enabling physical and biological recuperation through temporary uses of vacant plots and community led place-­‐making. In synchronicity with Green Glasgow 2015 and Glasgow City Council, YELLOWFIELD also intends to create environmental awareness and debate on smart, green and sustainable ideas locally through the transformation of a brownfield site into an open public garden and ecologically productive land. This bottom-up intervention aims to reanimate alternative brownfield sites: from Brown to Green. Dr Cristian Suau (Architecture) and Dr Christine Switzer (Civil & Environmental Engineering) and Amanda Currie (external landscape artist & gardener) are actively collaborating in this project.

MOBILELAND is the first Stalled Spaces award held by the University of Strathclyde and supported by the Glasgow City Council. It represents a unique Knowledge Exchange and educational initiative led by Dr. Cristian Suau since October 2014. This initiative is the core project of the Glasgow Project Office in collaboration with the VIP and MUSE educational programmes. Internationally MOBILELAND© has debuted in the Glasgow Pecha Kucha Show and The Month of Design in Ljubljana (2014) and recently joined the COST Action TU1201 Network ‘Urban Allotment Gardens in European Cities’ (2015).

Dr. Cristian Suau

Coordinator MOBILELAND garden




As you know MOBILELAND will continue operating during summertime. We will meet on 15th May to celebrate the end of term two in MOBILELAND with a BBQ event followed by one screening in our CEPELINA ARTSHIP pavilion. We are going to meet and prepare the BBQ; music, group presentations and the air-frame pillow at 2pm.

This day all members of group 2+3 will meet to erect the canopy at 11am. We request your attendance on time. Here is the name list: Samuel Leenhouts, Blair Scott, Mark Ducanson, David McDougall, Russell Muir, Maria Dragan, Jessica Cowan and Raffaele Capasso.


May is getting warm and ready for germination. MOBILELAND is hosting our first grand landscape recovery experiment on phytoremediation of brownfields through sunflowers. This is the month timetable:

(groups 2 + 3 volunteers)

(Evening w/ BBQ; film; music and group presentations)

1. POP-UP CINEMA on 30/05
We will screen a film inside the CEPELINA ARTSHIP and inaugurate the container terrace lounge with its new canopy!

On Friday 29/05 we will establish the first 50 giant sunflowers in 50 black bags at MOBILELAND SITE. This project is called YELLOWFIELD and it funded by Glasgow City Council. We are still recruiting both volunteers and leaders to help us with this fascinating landart and bioremediation action. Eoin, Sam and Kurt offered to lead this on-site construction of pallets-based planters. We will start the pallet frames of each planter the first week of June and launch it to the public access in September this year. Simply email me if you are interested in joining us!

Regarding year five Master, I offer MOBILELAND to develop your prototypes and 1:1 building tests. Students have already expressed interest in using both site and facilities to erect their experiments on “Remaking the City’. Places are limited! I will prioritize the allocation of space for my Master students. For any queries and activities, please email me asap:





‘All men are designers. All that we do, almost all the time, is design, for design is basic to all human activity’ (Victor Papanek, 1971)

What is design, art or rather science manifestation? Is design a medium that mediates between Air and Earth, Air-Earth? How can we bridge the gap between them? Let’s think about airships and their heroic contribution in early 20th century! We all know that this interval is quite diffuse and permeable, a borderland without demarcations. The ancient Hellenic cultures referred to the world techne (τέχνη) to describe the amalgamation of art and science. Nowadays design aims to become a bond, holistic, ecological and interdisciplinary system. According to Humberto Maturana, Cybernetics is “the science and art of understanding”[1].
Systemic Thinking is the way. It has demonstrated how ‘mechanicist’ models have completely failed due to they concentrated its own attention on the separation and regimentation of disciplines, without considering the relationships between components and their interconnectivity. In doing so, systemic design is both a structured and structuring action. It offers a holistic worldview regarding the environment and its inner structure. According to the theory of the ‘Four Laws of Ecologies’, Barry Commoners (The Closing Circle, 1971) affirms everything is connected to everything else. There is one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all”. Here design provides an articulating interface between biological and technical nutrients where waste is transformed into energy and vice versa. This implies not only an aesthetical or technical meanings but it also asks for an ethical position. Bucky Fuller (Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1967) reveals an even more challenging statement. He sees ‘we are all astronauts’, synergy-makers. Paraphrasing him, Victor Papanek (Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change, 1971) reconsidered the holistic vision of design, which emphasizes the democratisation and customisation of design through the transformation of planet Earth and the total engagement of mankind.
When we think about pneumatic structures I always think on Ant Farm (1968) and its Inflatables (1971). This environmental design practice invites us to blow out: oh underground architecture is what ants do! Deeply influenced by this visionary agency, the artist Graham Stevens has also investigated the symbiosis between ecology, society and technology. Especially the legacy of his pneumatic art is fundamental in this study because it promotes the relationship between inflatable structures and their environment. Desert Cloud is a documentary (Kuwait, 1974) that shows the behaviour of an inflated giant mattress, hovering in the sky and triggering a new climatic domain. It is composed by linear cells, transparent in the upper part and reflective in the lower part, and separated by black membranes. This configuration is aimed to overheat the air and producing a floating structure. Moreover the structure provides shade and condensation even in arid lands. How? The experimental ‘air-leaves’ of Stevens is more than a simple poetical provocation. In fact it does not only connect the technical and the artistic dimensions but underpins the energy-water transformation processes in impervious context.

Games are regular systems that govern our every-day life. They are often characterised by their tools and defined by their rules. Whilst rules are subject to variations and changes, enough alterations in the rules usually result in a new game. Spatial experimentation in architecture requires ludic game plans. Roger Caillois (Les Jeux et Les Hommes, 1992) defines the notion of game as a human activity that has the following characteristics: Simplicity, Enjoyment, Instantness, Uncertainty, Rules and Abstraction.


Air-frames are transgressive games in the sense that they go beyond limits or capacities of conventional structures. They subvert rules and turn conventions upside down. Blow-up architecture is a form of air-play, a fictitious reality of new living.
CEPELINA ARTSHIP© is a space invader in Scotland. It is the reincarnation and also tribute to the epic of all Zeppelins crossing the Atlantic Ocean to connect urbanites from shore to shore. The construction of CEPELINA ARTSHIP© is a pioneering pocket air-lab, easy to transport, light and easy to inflate. It remains me my childhood making the dove and then baking ‘empanadas’. This technology enables to inflate the entire air-frame in few steps. You can inhabit the in-between of two films!

This work is the result of two authors –Laura and Paulina- who are great game-makers. What can we extract from this extraordinary lesson of Pneumatic Architecture? What new air-games should we play instead? This art agency promotes temporary ideas that have no commercial potential but are important vehicles of cultural introspection. I suggest you visit and this instant balloon in person and experience a momentary sense of time and place.

The lesson of this pavilion triggers the potential playability for future elementary designs. CEPELINA ARTSHIP© interrogates to transform our conventional mind setting as designers or artists into new scenarios governed by ludic actions and self-ruled by spatial explorations, drifts and transgressiveness. The simplicity of the equation of this pavilion is High-Design + Low-Tech. CEPELINA ARTSHIP© reveals the power of playing with less by exploring DIY; spatial compactness; structural lightness and speed of fabrication within a Life Cycle Thinking (LCT).

(Notes by Cristian Suau)

[1] Maturana, H. (1999), Patterns, ASCD System Thinking/Chaos Theory Network/ASC Newsletter, (Spring/Summer 2006)., accessed in 30/04/15.




DATE: 9th of MAY 2015

VENUE: MOBILELAND SITE (Adjacent land to Greek Thomson Church, Cathcart road, Glasgow)

Dear students, staff and friends of MOBILELAND,

We are pleased to invite you to the Spring opening of the first MOBILELAND OLYMPICS in Gorbals followed by the launch of the air-frame pavilion coined ‘CEPELINA ARTSHIP’, an unique inflatable structure designed and built by Laura Petruskeviciute and Paulina Naruseviciute at Glasgow Project Office (GPO), which accommodates art and lighting in motion.

The whole event will take place on Saturday 9th of May (afternoon) and it is distributed is two parts:

  1. The MOBILELAND OLYMPICS(w/awards) from 15.00 to 19.00.

The registration is free and starts at 3pm. You play in teams of four players each. The repertoire of games consists of:

LOVE IS IN THE AIR (air-games)                                     16.00

ECO-GLOBING (balling)                                                      16.30

LEBOWSKY GARDEN (outdoor bowling)                17.00

PING or PONG (table tennis)                                           17.30

POLLOCK MESS (dripping & dotting mural)          18.00

AWARDS (break)                                                                    19.00

followed by refreshments

  1. The CEPELINA ARTSHIPfrom 20.00 to 21.00

The opening starts with a brief welcome talk led by Dr Cristian Suau, coordinator of Glasgow Project Office and MOBILELAND, followed by a lecture titled ‘Temporary Activation’ by Laura Petruskeviciute and Paulina Naruseviciute -fifth year students in Architecture at the University of Strathclyde; MOBILELAND leaders and founders of RESTART- studio which is supported by two short screenings:

– Screening 1: Inflatable Pavilion Test at 8.30 (15min duration)

– Screening 2: Inflatable Pavilion Test at 9.00 (15min duration)​


Both screenings will take place at 20:30 pm (30-min duration; inside the pavilion). These animations offer a perfect opportunity to experience an experimental pneumatic space and the power of temporary architecture. However, due to internal space limitation only 15 people will be accommodated inside at once. For this reason we invite you to book a place through Eventbrite:


Screening 1

Screening 2


NOTE: Please book online quickly! The booking was released this week and you still have chances to experience this unique air-frame installation.

The lecture is sponsored by MOBILELAND Strathclyde University, Glasgow Project Office (GPO) – Department of Architecture, Glasgow City Council and Stalled Spaces. The admission is free only for Strathclyde students and staff members. Note: Bring your ticket and show it at pavilion entrance. More information is available at:


Dr Cristian Suau

Coordinator of Glasgow Project Office and MOBILELAND

Department of Architecture

University of Strathclyde

Mobile green and art spaces creation in vacant or under-utilised Glasgow land to enliven communities. Reduce+Reuse+Recycle