Aino Larvala (She / Her)
My interest in design focuses on how design can improve our society, both environmentally and societally. I believe that designers are at the forefront of finding solutions to the issues of humanity and the solution is in the job description: a designer is a person who imagines how something could be made and draws plans for it.
The final year project addresses sustainability and the climate crisis by providing a solution to overconsumption, so we can transition to the circular economy that makes sustainability financially viable. I believe that in addition to offering technological solutions to the climate crisis, we should also rethink our systems to be better.
Reimagining what prosperity will be in a sustainable world allows us to redesign systems, products, and services that restore and regenerate.
Glasgow City Workshop
Our society is built on disposal, but if we learn to fix and mend again, maybe we’ll learn to take better care of our things, the environment and each other.
To ensure that Earth’s capacity can continue to sustain us in the future, we need to change our consumption habits and the narrative around it. This project titled Glasgow City Workshop proposes a concept for an accessible and inclusive space that strives to prolong the lifecycle of household objects by repairing and upcycling them in one convenient spot.
The proposal explores how design could be used innovatively in a transition to a post-consumption world. The aim of this project is to challenge the ownership-based economy and promote a sharing-based economy by providing tools, space, and skills for the citizens. Instead of getting stimulation from buying ready-made products, the proposed space provides stimulation in the process of embedding value on retaining objects.
The proposal introduces a space where people can come together in a non-consuming and creative way because a sustainable lifestyle should be easy, affordable, and aspiring.
The main purpose of this proposal is to provide a space, where citizens can get their beloved objects fixed by skilled professionals, do the fixing by themselves, or realize their own projects. And when the work needs to be done elsewhere, the space has a resource library, where tools can be borrowed. The space also offers a second-hand market for selling unused household objects and clothing, so they can go into circulation. While the objects are being fixed, the space provides refreshments in the rooftop garden cafe or one can wander around in the exhibition space.
The project reimagines department stores by replacing purchases with repair and remake in an empty commercial unit in the city centre. Creating a new market for such non-consumptive activities would avoid the environmental impact of buying new products and this should become the new normal in the shift to circular economy.
Professional people providing repair services would do repair work in the workshops, but these spaces would also be open to the members to work on their own projects and learn handicrafts. This means that the two concepts – repair and making – are combined in the same space. This way the hierarchy between the professionals and “hobbyists” could be dissolved and allow repair and maker culture to develop by sharing knowledge and skills.
The space provides citizens:
TOOLS Specialised tools to work on different materials so that we can move from an ownership-based economy to a sharing one.
SPACE Since most people live in cities without access to a personal workspace, workshops provide a space to work on projects that need room and can be messy.
SKILLS The working professionals can hold workshops and advise members working on their projects.
67 Sauchiehall street
The site is located in the Glasgow city centre grid in the Sauchiehall Street retail belt, which has served as one of the city’s principal retail and entertainment streets.
Sauchiehall Street now incorporates numerous retail developments, and along with Buchanan Street and Argyle Street, they form the so-called “Golden Z”, running roughly in the form of the letter Z, offering retail and entertainment facilities. Sauchiehall Street has been a successful retail location in Glasgow, but today the retail trends have started to shift and the demise of the street is visible.
The existing British Home Store building on the site was built in 1965 as a department store. The store closed in 2016 and has been empty since then. This prominent building on Sauchiehall Street represents the decline of the street and the demise of retail.
Glasgow’s City Centre Task Force has announced plans for the city centre’s recovery, which creates an opportunity for new visions of consumption, and the central location in an empty commercial unit in the retail area makes a statement for this new way of consuming.
Sustainable materials, furniture, fixtures & equipment
The project proposal is focused on using sustainable materials, mostly from renewable sources or materials that can be repurposed in the future. The construction and the possible dismantling in the future have been considered in the process so that the material can be repurposed or it is biodegradable. The neutral material palette works as a blank canvas, not to disturb the creativity of the makers.
The most sustainable option for furniture, fixtures, and equipment is to use objects that already exist. This is why this proposal sources all furniture, fixtures and equipment second-hand.
Sustainable design considers how our environment changes constantly and prepares for those changes with flexible, modular and adjustable designs.
The proposal will introduce the space divided into three categories: the public spaces open to irregular visitors, the workshop spaces open to the members, and the resource library.
+ city garden
+ textile workshop
+ tool library
+ book library
+ media studio
+ craft space
+ painting studio
+ wood workshop
+ metal workshop
+ electronics workshop
+ jeweller & clocksmith
+ exhibition space
Visitors enter a welcoming lobby, where they can find information about the Glasgow City workshop, sit down for a while or watch a presentation with a cup of hot beverage.
Behind the stairs, visible from the lobby is an exhibition space where artist, makers, and organizations, can exhibit their latest work or provide information to the citizens.
This project is introducing a type of a fleamarket that is typical in Finland: The seller reserves a stall for a few weeks and brings second-hand clothes and other items to the stall for sale. The fleamarket staff is in charge of selling them, so the seller doesn’t need to be in the location.
The first floor is dedicated to different making spaces, divided by activity and materiality.
The first floor has access to the courtyard, which can be used for deliveries, especially if bigger items need to be brought to the space.
The textile workshop is located on the second floor and it has machines and space to work on any textile-related projects.
On the second floor, accessing through a ramp takes to the resource library, which provides different resources, such as tools to be borrowed, books for inspiration and information, a media studio for computer use, and meeting places for collaboration.
The rooftop has a cafe that prepares easy lunch meals, and when the weather permits, the space around the cafe can be used as a terrace. Two shipping containers are repurposed as sheds to store gardening tools and other equipment and planter pots around them grow plants, vegetables, and herbs. The city garden can be used to teach citizens how to grow their own vegetables, provides produce for the cafe, and increases the visitors’ well-being. Green spaces in cities have multiple beneficial aspects, such as improved air quality.