Case Studies

2015 Placemaking Award Winner - Urban Union & WAVEparticle

Project story

Art & Living Laurieston is the art strategy developed for the area by WAVEparticle in partnership with New Gorbals Housing Association and regeneration specialist Urban Union.  WAVEparticle is a Glasgow based art organisation, set up nine years ago to support and direct a team approach to large urban arts projects, public art commissions and various levels of community engagement. WAVEparticle works with artists, writers, poets, filmmakers, historians, architects and engineers, and especially local communities, with the goal of helping to build better spaces.

The project aim was to take a ‘best practice’ approach in all things related to the housing development and, through the art strategy, explore innovative and creative opportunities in relation to placemaking, to ensure that Laurieston becomes a vibrant area to live in Glasgow, a new world-class city centre quarter. 

Over 18 months WAVEparticle engaged in a creative process of conversation and workshops with communities and key principal partners to develop Art and Living: Laurieston ( This ambitious and innovative art strategy is a 10 year plan that aims to engage the community in shaping the immediate place they live in. 

Arts/cultural organisation story

WAVEparticle is a small Glasgow-based art organisation, set up 9 yrs ago to support a team approach to large urban arts projects, public art commissions and community engagement - with the goal of helping to build better spaces. 

In working with Urban Union, WAVEparticle discovered a mutual motivation to take placemaking to the highest standards, where all aspects of the place were of interest, not just the bricks and mortar. WAVEparticle inherited a masterplan that included one notional artwork, a huge spire that would have absorbed the entire budget for art. Lead Artist, Peter McCaughey, presented to the Urban Union Board, a distributed network of small artworks & interventions across the site. The board embraced a more contemporary vision of events-led works, which are embedded & aspirational and allow great scope to involve community members in shaping place. Urban Union had faith in this process and trusted WAVEparticle to build a resource, with the opportunity to mark physical space in a meaningful way.

Business story

Urban Union’s aim is to create a new, vibrant community in the Laurieston areas of Glasgow.  In working closely with WAVEparticle they have come to a clear understanding of how art plays a key role in bringing that vision to life.  Urban Union is committed to involving the local community, in all aspects of Laurieston, from partnering with local workers and suppliers to create growth and employment opportunities within the area, to supporting the community members who become involved in all the projects and creative processes that comprise Art & Living : Laurieston. 

Since the beginning of the revitalisation of the area, the Art & Living : Laurieston art strategy has been a tremendous advantage. As Urban Union became familiar with the processes involved by the art community, they have been able to develop synergies with the community – the people and the rich cultural history of the area.  The many creative projects and opportunities for tenants and owners in Laurieston, both existing and incoming, to become involved in, have allowed the successful creation of a new community at the heart of Glasgow.

Urban Union believe developing a relationship with art enables the company to continue to be competitive at a time when community benefits are increasingly a significant factor in tendering processes across the UK.  They are delighted to have developed a clear understanding of how to support best practice in this field.

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