Pidgin Perfect is a creative studio based in Glasgow whose aim is to help build better communities in Scotland
Pidgin Perfect with Tawny Kerr
Pidgin Perfect understand people’s desire to live in communities that provide comfort, security and a sense of belonging; and, they are sensitive to the professed gap, which developed during the boom years, between those building our communities and the public at large.
Central to the ethos of Pidgin Perfect is the mantra of 'placing the community at the heart of urban projects,' putting people's needs first in their work. By designing imaginative experiences that constitute meaningful community engagment, Pidgin Perfect gather genuine opinions which they then use to form the basis for design briefs, ensuring the community get what they want.
In their first year Pidgin Perfect’s scope within the urban realm has broadened with every new community interaction. Working closely with groups ranging from allotment holders to architecture students, they have met many interesting personalities who have inspired and encouraged them along the way. This is the story so far…
The Pidgins: Co-founders Dele Adeyemo and Marc Cairns first met while studying towards their Masters in Architecture at the University of Strathclyde, deciding to work together under the name Pidgin Perfect. From the beginning the boys had a friend and supporter in Becca Thomas. She soon joined the flock formally becoming Pidgin Becca. The Pidgins, as people came to nickname them, discovered the great potential in collaborating together.
Uli Enslein: Enthusiastic educator, and lover of benches
Uli inspired The Pidgins to explore new ideas around architecture. She introduced the concept of Agit Prop – helping them to create immediate interventions in the public realm and gather more than just facts and figures. This instilled The Pidgins with a dynamic approach to research.
Cedric Price: Forward-thinking and mischievous architect; a legend and inspiration
In the 70s Price created the PolyArk project, having students from the Architectural Association convert a double-decker bus into an architecture tour bus in which they travelled around the UK. Inspired by Cedric Price, The Pidgins became student activists and created the inaugural Scottish Architecture Students Assembly, or SASA.
Davie Welsh: The Last Rag and Bone Man of the old tradition to use a horse and cart
Davie first introduced himself to The Pidgins as they stood peering through the railings at Paddy's Market. He spoke of the importance of Paddy's to a way of life that was disappearing in Glasgow and his sadness at its closure. Pidgin Perfect worked with Gordon Ballantyne to document the changes and loss of heritage brought on by the closure of Paddy’s in a short film entitled, The Last Rag & Bone Man. From this point The Pidgins realised they wanted to act as a bridge between decision makers and often voiceless communities.
Jude Barber: Director at Collective Architecture
Jude mentored The Pidgins throughout their architectural education and continues to support the studio. She encouraged them to be enterprising and to push what started as a project into a practice, helping them forge a strong identity.
Amanda Dobbratz: Director of Ironbbratz Studios and former Student Head of Glasgow School of Art
Amanda co-founded Ironbbratz Studios as a workspace for start-up creatives in Glasgow's city centre. After deciding to operate Pidgin Perfect as a full time enterprise, The Pidgins needed a studio and Ironbbratz provided the perfect space. Suddenly opportunities came about as designers and curators of exhibitions, like the Vault Art Fair, for Ironbbratz.
David Smith: Film, TV and Theatre Producer extraordinaire; Programme Manager of Starter for 6.
The Pidgins met David Smith in a Dragon’s Den type presentation to gain a place on 2011’s Starter for 6 enterprise programme for start up creative entrepreneurs. Through lots of hard work and brainstorming The Pidgins learned how to translate the fun things they were doing into a sustainable enterprise and an award winning business.
Ian Gilzean: Chief Architect for Scotland.
Pidgin Perfect communicate their work through writing, blogging, tweeting and talking about all the exciting things they are involved in. This has not gone unnoticed, even catching the attention of the Chief Architect for Scotland. With Ian and other key figures endorsing Pidgin Perfect projects, like the Scottish Architecture Students Assembly (SASA), they are establishing themselves as influential thinkers on the built environment and place making.
June Johnstone: Caring Social Worker and Community Organiser for the Kennyhill Community Gardens.
Last summer Pidgin Perfect worked with Kennyhill Community Gardens and Allotments for NVA’s Glasgow Harvest 2011. The Pidgins encouraged participation through jam making sessions, exhibitions and design workshops. Working alongside June and local residents, the Pidgins successfully co-created a design within a community, something which Pidgin Perfect look forward to continuing in 2012.