RGU architecture project addresses diversification in post-oil economies

Architecture students at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have mapped out ways for oil-dependent economies to diversify after the industry begins to decline.

R WightmanThe final year students have studied the Norwegian village of Eidsvåg and created a hypothetical new settlement focused on the town’s maritime industry rather than oil.

Among the innovative and creative proposals include plans for a specialist dementia development, a fish farm and a new market place.

David Vila Domini, course leader, commented: “This unit addresses the issues facing Norwegian society, particularly in relation to both an oil economy and a post-oil economy, and how architecture might contribute to their resolution.

“Our students visited Norway’s cities and coastal areas and explored the economic alternatives to oil-based industry.

“The project has interesting parallels for Scotland, in that the two countries share a comparable climate, landscape, an extensive coastlines and the North Sea, and both face similar issues when thinking about a post-oil economy.”

Student Erica Malaguti designed a dementia care home which focuses on the differing levels and stages of the disease.

“My proposal deals with the ideas of community, integrated society, day care facilities and dementia care centres,” she said.

“The reasoning behind my proposal sitting within the overall Eidsvåg masterplan is based on the experience of being on or near the water, surrounded by beautiful scenery – this is something that is at the very heart of Norwegian society and should be exploited when dealing with a disease such as dementia.”

Classmate, Robert Wightman, has developed a fish-farm which will help bridge the deficit in the economy with the decline of oil.

He said: “It is clear that salmon-farming can form part of the solution for Norway, but crucially it can have a positive impact on a new settlement in Eidsvåg.

“The focus for the Fish Farm is the industrial process of salmon cultivation, however it also has a public engagement aspect to it with the addition of a restaurant, shop and an exhibition space. This acknowledges the desire from consumers to have a greater understanding of where the things we eat and drink come from and to be closer to that process.”


Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer | Design and Technology
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