chapter  8
14 Pages

Attunement to Process

On a recent trip to Glasgow, Scotland, I immersed myself in the makings of place. Glasgow is a place where my ancestors lived and which I hold layered impressions of through recollections of family stories and associated images. These impressions of place are re-made as I piece together some of Glasgow’s history in relation to contemporary times. The spring of 2011 in Glasgow is marked by the opening of the Riverside Museum, providing a home for Glasgow’s transport collection and offering opportunities for visitors to experience Glasgow’s ties to its proud maritime history. Located on the banks of the River Clyde on a site where Glasgow’s other river-the Kelvin-intersects, its story seems fittingly located. The museum’s architectural design playfully entwines the stories of Glasgow’s ship-building history with contemporary artistic, industrial, and architectural materials and processes. The building catches the sunlight with its polished zinc form that follows the line of the Clyde, wandering along its bank. Visitors are invited to wander into and through the museum as they explore Glasgow’s history and reinvention. Piecing aspects of place together, contributing to the makings of Glasgow, I happen upon an art exhibit, Drawings (on) Riverside by Patricia Cain (2011) at the Kelvingrove Art Museum. Cain’s drawings document immersion in the making process of the Riverside Museum and extend to the changing characterizations of place over time and people’s complicity, calling attention to the lived consequences of moments in time. I bring my newly gained perceptions of the Riverside Museum to bear. The exhibit creates an immersive experience as the creative and collaborative making experience of the museum are traced through Cain’s detailed drawings over four years, observing and studying the structural and formative aspects of the building’s design by architect Zaha Hadid ( The drawings are part of a larger collaborative undertaking with four additional artists in which the exhibit takes shape as an installation with the collaborators working on-site, attending to the creation of an experiential whole. Cain explains that the exhibit as a collaborative endeavor is “entirely a product of the initial observation work and the consequent idea that process should be examined through process” (personal communication, December 2, 2011). She articulates how the collaborations were led by the knowledge that had been accrued through the drawing process, revealing how the collaborators became “a part of the project once the exhibition space was defined and there was an opportunity to exploit the idea of the collaborative processes used on site at the Riverside in a large exhibition space” (personal communication, December 2, 2011). The collaborative pieces for the exhibit at the Kevingrove Art Museum were then physically jointly made. Cain (2011) relays her role as akin to a project manager, building collaborations with others as the exhibit takes shape. Ann Nisbet is an architect who brings and works with the shared concern for process as both Cain and Nisbet construct a wooden sculpture, plated in zinc, akin to the processes for the construction of the Riverside Museum, as well as those often used in ship-building.