green care, development & a luxury castle

a studio project

  • operating from 2014 - 2017

  • 98% Completion rate

  • 176 Unique Participants 

  • 0% returned to homelessness

A studio project

Studio Projects represent a major undertaking for my design practice. Years of ethnographic & primary research provide the starting point for our co-creative conversations. Studio Projects are self commissioned and result in a sustainable social enterprise or initiative that provides impact and longevity.


In 2014 Scotland, 34,000 Homeless applications were made, and 29,894 households were assessed as homeless by their local Scottish authority. This equates to a household losing their home every 17.5 minutes. 

design as a conversation

Design is a conversation that spans across space, time and culture, one that takes place between all who occupy the problem space and that focuses on failure and innovation. However the conversation itself doesn't create change. Indeed I am not sure if anyone can ever really change anyone apart from themselves. Just like Manet's inspiring painting the Railway (1873) the best we can do is to create the space for change to take place. Creating safe and enabling environments where co-creation can bravely take place accounts for a significant aspect of my "making" time. 

safe & Enabling spaces

For my work in Scotland, that safe and enabling space became The Carlowrie Academy. Hosting the space for the experts in the problem to nurture and foster their own social transformation. Edinburgh not only has a high number of people experiencing homelessness, it also has a high number of castle owners unable to maintain their estates. Can their be a symbiotic relationship providing genuine mutual value between two socio-economic groups?

green care

Carlowrie Academy is an initiative that provides low cost gardening services for luxury castles, but yet, simultaneously offers green care therapy, nature connection, well-being and accredited qualifications for beneficiaries.


Adaptability, the competency that helps us understand and cope with change was cemented though this symbiotic relationship between two worlds that would never normally meet. Co-created alongside Bethany Homeless Charity Police Scotland and Carlowrie Castle. 

project stakeholders