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reFresh Residency: Studio Vans

For the reFresh exhibition, as part of Làn-Thìde, the Outer Hebrides Climate Beacon, Taigh Chearsabhagh are hosting creative residencies in partnership with Ceòlas and Cothrom/ReStore.

These residencies are questioning consumption and production, with each resident creative set to collaborate with local communities to conduct experimentation with waste materials. We will collectively develop skills and methodologies through free workshops hosted across North Uist, Benbecula, and South Uist.

Studio Vans is a design and build studio based on Benbecula, in the Outer Hebrides. They provide an innovative installation system for customers to convert vans to campervans, both manufactured on Uist and through collaborations with great designers and artists across the world. Internal fit out modules are provided as click in click out and are compatible with any van model. Along with the use of sustainable and recycled materials, a Studio Vans’ fit out is designed to outlast its van, challenging customers to join the race to reduce carbon emissions and take their modules with them, creating circularity in the product and reducing waste.

Swept thousands of miles in the North Atlantic Drift and tossed ashore to slowly break into smaller and ever increasingly dangerous fragments, Ocean and Ocean Bound Plastic is an immediate threat to the fragile biodiversity and Human populations of the Islands. By recycling Ocean and Ocean Bound plastic, Studio Vans aims to raise awareness to reduce plastic consumption, combat the huge carbon footprint related to plastic manufacturing while mitigating the negative effects of plastic circulating our ocean. 

For their reFresh workshop, Studio Vans will engage participants in small scale plastic recycling, beginning with harvesting the raw material from a local shoreline and culminating in the production of new useful objects at Studio Vans’ workshop in Balivanich, Benbecula. The workshop will incite discussion around environmental, ecological and social issues around the locally occurring Ocean and Ocean Bound plastics found across Uist and provide the opportunity to process and recycle this raw material using professional machinery. 

The workshop will run from 10am – 5pm on the 26th March at the Studio Vans workshop, located at 4 Eabhal Business Park, Balivanich, Benbecula, HS7 5AD.

Hot drinks will be available to all, and you are welcome to bring along snacks and a packed lunch for break times.

If you would like to join this free workshop with Studio Vans, please book a ticket using the registration form below. 

Who are Studio Vans?

A white man is standing inside a light filled campervan conversion. His back is to the camera. He has short brown hair.

For Rob Hall, starting a campervan company was not just about a love for creating inspiring spaces – for Rob, it’s about what travel can do for us; how it can create moments of connection to new cultures and our environment, and if it’s not stretching things too far, how it could improve the way we treat the planet in general. Rob is passionate about bringing people together; customers, communities, designers, makers, artists and engineers to inspire the Studio Vans community to make a positive difference by getting on the road.

A white man is standing on a bright beach. He has long dark hair and a beard, and is smiling.

After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 2021, Calum Ferguson returned to his family home on the Isle of North Uist and took up residency as Designer and Maker at Studio Vans. Calum has an interest in creating more circularity in the objects that we interact with and spaces which can engage people with the natural environment.  Strong ties with people and place stem from a lifetime of crofting, surfing and travel. Combined with experience studying at the Glasgow School of Art, Calum brings an innovative and creative approach to his work at Studio Vans.

A white woman is outside in a garden. She has long light brown straight hair and is smiling lightly.

Tara Drummie moved to the Outer Hebrides in early 2020, graduating with a First in Communication Design at the Glasgow School of Art in 2021, winning the University’s Sustainability Prize. Tara took on the role of Communications Coordinator and Maker at Studio Vans last September, orchestrating creative collaborations, community engagement, and promoting brand ethos. A keen focus for Tara is collecting, processing and repurposing plastic found on Uist’s shores, creating useful objects that speak of the materiality of this sadly abundant local resource, inspiring the reduction of plastic consumption.