Archive for August, 2009

Out with the…erm…old

trongate103Well, Well! That wee bit about The Lighthouse’s demise got many peoples’ knickers  in a fanckle. If as many folk had shown interest when it was open it would have not needed to close! However, Glasgow’s own Internet phenomenon/BBC comedian Limmy summed it up on the link we posted when he said he wasn’t sure if you were allowed to go in, or not? That’s also the reaction and the comments I got from a lot of people over the weekend. Just not clear enough what it was.

Anyway, until we hear more on the Lighthouse’s fate (and yes, we’d like to suggest things here!), let’s discuss the newcomer, Trongate 103,  in more detail. Good name, interesting space. I cannae see me getting an invite to the opening in mid-September, especially after suggesting it’s fulfilling a role that The Lighthouse could easily have done, so I’ve checked out the website. However, as mentioned in the last blog (which literally hundreds of peeps viewed) it’s here now, so we’ll be supporting it and getting right behind it. In speaking about The Lighthouse, I had a tongue-in-cheek go at the “design arty farties” (they know who they are) but I’d like to see Trongate 103 be a bit more ‘Glasgow’. You shouldnae have to be ‘up yer ain tailpipe’ to ‘get it’. It certainly can’t be a place where everyone’s not really sure whether you are allowed to go in, or not. It needs to be all-involving and…dare I say it a bit more fun? Somewhere you could go for a cool but fun day out.

If any of the Trongate 103 team DO read this, then yeah, we’d love to come along and check out this cool new space, so we can comment properly. D8 are down the stairs from us and the website they designed looks fabulous and reflects what unquestionably is a great space. So, here’s hoping it ignites all the sparks that The Lighthouse failed to.

Oh, all the design/architecture dudes who commented in our blog and suggested that with 25 years in design I just wasn’t clever or sophisticated enough to ‘get’ the Lighthouse, perhaps Trongate 103 should invite them as well, to see if, in their eyes it’s cool or clever enough for the Glasgow public? Unlike us, they’re in a lofty and sophisticated position and clearly ‘get’ most things of a lofty and sophisticated nature, so probably a good idea to get their blessing…

Quite a good bit in The Sunday Times today about the The Lighthouse and that’s what I’m returning to do, read the papers, maybe even have a glass of wine. More, early next week. Wonder who we can annoy next week?

RIP The Lighthouse. Welcome, some other Design/Creative place?

As the beam is turned off at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s ultra-expensive, one-time exemplar for design excellence, another Glasgow ‘centre of creativity’ opens, less than a mile away! Now, pedants could argue that there’s a big difference between ‘design’ and ‘creativity’ but the closing of one £multi-million ‘venue’ to be replaced by a pretty similar (and no doubt rather expensive) one along the road, it could be seen at best as bad planning, at worst as an incredible bloody waste of public money.

Creativity is how we make our living, so we’re not suggesting for a moment that we shouldn’t have incredibly exciting centres of burgeoning creativity in Scotland’s biggest cities. Of COURSE we should, it just seems that the timing’s erm…a wee bit embarrassing? The City fathers have known that The Lighthouse’s ‘coat has been on a shaky nail’ for ages, probably years. So, whilst the assembled creative/arts/design mandarins were wringing their hands, worrying what to do with this perceived White Elephant and stringing together all sorts of rescue packages, there was ANOTHER similar innovative design/creative space being planned, just a wee stroll away, down The Trongate.

Again, we’re aware that the pompous, arty-farty-weegie sort would suggest the now deid Lighthouse and the newborn Trongate 103 (I think that’s what it’s called) are chalk and cheese, poles apart, aimed at different audiences, working to a different remit, headed-up by different people, funded differently, blah blah blah. Well, ‘chalk and cheese’, we’d agree on that, cos one’s dead (some would say it was stillborn) and the other’s newly-created, blinking, shiny and fresh, basking in the first rays of publicity.

But for these two scenarios to be unravelling (and ravelling?) at the same time? They may be very different spaces but the point is, if we’ve made a pig’s ear of one place, simply to replace it with a similar-ish type place, is this not a bit short-sighted and a tad un-joined up? One fabulous Arts space, struggling to justify itself? Who cares? We’ll just build another! Surely Glasgow or even Scotland’s ‘Design’ bodies are better ‘connected’ and strung together than this?

We wish Trongate’s new place all the best, we’ll go there, we’ll support if and we’ll give it credit, where credit’s due. However, the Lighthouse (building) will be sitting there, magnificient but unfulfilled.  ‘Arts’  venues (for want of a better word) can be all-inclusive, fun, non-po-faced and above all, commercially viable. It’s hard work, but feasible, they don’t have to be skint, ulta-exclusive and elitist can-rattlers and funding drains.

The problem with the Lighthouse was it preached to the converted. Nobody who wasn’t a ‘designer’ or an ‘architect’ ever went there. It lacked everyman appeal and it didn’t reach out to families or the person in the street.

Hopefully we can learn from mistakes and this new place in the Trongate will be somewhere you can take kids, families…and grannies…and other punters who know bugger-all about ‘creativity’ or ‘design’ but simply want to have a good time? We don’t like writing design venue obituaries!

For she's a jolly good Fellow…

Apologies for the extremely cheesy headline but it’s true, our MD Claire (Dunning) has just been made a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

The ‘CIM’ is the World’s biggest Marketing organisation and helps marketers at every stage of their career, with training, qualifications and resources.

Basically, it’s an organisation which helps businesses to get the most from their marketing people.

CIM has around 50,000 members worldwide but there are only 100 or so ‘Fellows’ in Scotland and only 10% of these ‘Fellows’ work on the ‘consultancy’ side of marketing. So, this puts Claire into the Top Ten of Marketing consultants in Scotland.

More importantly, for networking in our swish, ’29’ private member’s club and other posh Glasgow Chamber of Commerce events, she can now put the initials ‘FCIM’ after her name.

Surely this would be much more fun if they had called it a FeCIM?

Claire Dunning-FeCim, that sounds better!

The Marketer, CIM's magazine

The Marketer, CIM's magazine