Huiran Cho is a spatial designer based in the Republic of Korea and Scotland. She has devoted herself to crafting user-experience-focused interior designs that artfully blend phenomenology and human senses. She aims to create organic connections between people and their inhabitants and make a meaningful trace in the complex modern society. Cho’s creative experiments follow through a thoughtful analysis of human needs, cultural contexts, and sustainability as principles. She integrates these elements into her design solutions and establishes poetic dialogues within a spatial discipline while ensuring they align with practical requirements as well.
REMINISCENCE OF REMNANTS
“Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
Through the lens of material culture, waste serves its purpose until ultimately discarded. It constantly interacts with our daily lives and maintains its unique connection with the surroundings. Sir John Maxwell School is one of the derelict heritage buildings that are ruined and perceived as colossal junk within the local community despite its connoted local reminiscence. This project focuses on the potential to repurpose the place for the future generation. ‘Reminiscence of remnants’ sought to investigate tangible ways to preserve reminiscence associated with the abandoned local heritage in Glasgow. By breathing new life into the neglected structures, the project also aims to reconfigure people’s perceptions of discarded things.
EXPLORING THE RUINED HERITAGE
Sir John Maxwell School, located in the tranquil and residential neighbourhood of Pollokshaws, holds a significant historical narrative. It was constructed on land generously provided by Sir John Maxwell, situated near Pollokhouse. However, despite the efforts of a local charity called ‘Save Sir John Maxwell School’ to revive the school within the modern urban context, the building has unfortunately remained abandoned since 2011. Moreover, the prolonged period of vandalism and neglect has ruined this historic building, resulting in significant deterioration and colossal junk in Pollokshaws.
Reminiscent elements are meticulously created and assembled from salvaged fragments of the school. These elements were utilised to explore the theme of collective memory – recollected by adopting Hobbes’ paradox to the discarded elements in the local area.
The ‘Reminiscence of Remnants’ is the main programme that invites the community to Sir John Maxwell School. This furniture-making workshop aims to re-establish the cultural bond between the heritage building and the local community through participatory engagements. Participants work together and learn from each other to build ‘Speur chairs’ using reclaimed local materials. This very initiative provides opportunities to foster craft skills by embracing the legacy of the heritage – collaborative learning. Throughout the workshop, people will encounter various hidden stories behind Sir John Maxwell School; how it has been connected to the local history, language, and community. This journey of finding the significance inherent in discarded materials will leave a meaningful trace in the local area, thereby preserving the cultural heritage and the local reminiscence.
In conclusion, through this project, the once-ruined heritage transforms into a place of collective memory by repurposing salvaged elements from the demolition and utilising local resources to repair the decayed parts. ‘Reminiscence Of Reamnants’ provides a distinctive and profound journey of re-establishing the bond between the abandoned local heritage and the neighbouring community. The process of making the chair not only embodies personal achievements but also encapsulates the collective memory of the local area. This collaborative learning programme brings about enhanced awareness of the waste crisis by celebrating discarded things, which will lead to a deeper connection with the cultural heritage.