Scotland’s Centre for
Design and Architecture

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Visit / Exhibitions / Circular Elaboration


Circular Elaboration 09 Jul 2019 – 06 Jan
Mackintosh Interpretation Centre

The 1999 transformation of the old Herald building into The Lighthouse was an exercise in architectural divination. Seeking meaning in the motifs spanning facades, interpreting, and reinterpreting.

The elaborate water tower is said to represent a Harebell, a Scottish Bluebell. From ground level up into the light, motifs of a flower in bloom, seeking the light, growing and emerging.

In perfumery, a flower which does not readily give up its scent for extraction is referred to as a mute flower - the Harebell is one such flower. Any perfumer looking to capture its scent will need to reinterpret the fragrance as it exists in the wild, or in their mind, and utilise other materials to recreate it.

Circular Elaboration, by Clara Weale, is a fragrance designed to reflect the history of, and motifs present within The Lighthouse, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the buildings rebirth. In researching the 1999 design process, Clara came across a dissertation, written by a student at Glasgow School of Art, which included a list detailing floral motifs present in the facades. Taken in isolation, this poetic list of details provided an abstract brief for the work.

On display in the base of the Mackintosh Tower, a small ceramic brick contains the scent of an imagined Harebell accord, set against industrial notes of printing ink and cut sandstone, calling to mind the history of the Herald building - scenting the building in miniature.

Design by Tangent Graphic