The Causey, Edinburgh, Arcade Architects, Shaeron Averbuch Artist

The Causey, Edinburgh

Six Cities Design Festival Edinburgh, Scotland: West Crosscauseway Association & residents

23 May 2007

The Causey Edinburgh

Six Cities Design Festival Edinburgh Event


The Causey 26, 27, 28 May 2007

The Causey

As part of the Six Cities Design Festival, Scotland’s first nationwide celebration of design, Edinburgh practice, Arcade Architects and artist Shaeron Averbuch, working with the West Crosscauseway Association and local residents are going to transform The Causey, an unappreciated and enigmatic space in Edinburgh’s Southside, dominated by a redundant and spiritless traffic island, into a colourful tropical island over 3 days.

image from the day:
The Causey Edinburgh

When the transformation is complete on Monday 28 May, the island will be painted with tropical flowers surrounded by a ‘sea’ of grass. Road signs will make way for palm trees and loose furniture and colourful tents will be scattered about inviting people to relax and enjoy their new, albeit temporary, island paradise. A broad pink path will connect the island to the mainland, so that everyone can access it.

Sounds from the past, including the geese of the ‘Guse Dub’ (mentioned by Sir Walter Scott who grew up nearby in George Square) and reminiscences from local people past and present will emanate as ‘murmurs’ from hidden sources around the space. On display will be the history of local place names, archive photographs and historical maps. Visitors will also have the opportunity to contribute their thoughts on the future of the Causey.

Time-lapse photography will record the process of transformation and be streamed to a monitor in the window of Arcade Architects’ office so that visitors can see mini-movies of action as it happens. The process is also being photographed and filmed to document it as a participative community exercise.

Alison Blamire of Arcade Architects said: “The Causey is a historic space in the busy university area, but at the moment cars have taken over. Although this project is about having fun and bringing colour and life to a drab spot for the benefit of local residents and visitors, it does have a serious message too – we want to free the space from traffic, redesign it and reclaim it for the people.”

The Six Cities Design Festival is Scotland’s first nationwide celebration of design. A programme of over 200 public events running between April and August 2007 – with the main focus on a three week festival running across all of Scotland’s six cities from 17 May – 3 June 2007 – is complemented by Design into Business and Learning Programmes. The Six Cities Design Festival is being delivered by The Lighthouse, Scotland’s National Architecture and Design Centre, and is supported by The Scottish Executive.

One of the main aims of Six Cities is to increase public engagement with design in its broadest definition. Events will be taking place in Scotland’s six cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling.

The Causey is presented by ARCADE Architects in collaboration with Shaeron Averbuch, in association with the Six Cities Design Festival with the participation of the West Crosscauseway Association and the local people of the Southside area of Edinburgh.

ARCADE Architects are based at 1 West Crosscauseway, Edinburgh. They are a design-led practice with a particular interest placemaking. Website:

Shaeron Averbuch, a partner in AiA , Art in Architecture, Leith, Edinburgh is an artist interested in the design challenges and social issues surrounding the planning and integration of artwork into urban developments.

For more information on The Causey, contact Alison Blamire of Arcade Architects on 0131 668 2635 or email [email protected] or John Pelan on 07881 937682 or email [email protected]

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picture © Keith Hunter

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