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Chris Stewart

Collective Architecture's Chris Stewart discusses his overlapping roles as architect and member of the Scottish Ecological Design Association in promoting green design to a wider audience.

COP26 Day Two

November 3rd, 2021

Early rise to stick a swab up my nose, ten to the right, ten to the left, wait a bit, negative. Covid Test, passport, and delegate letter in hand, I walked the high road to COP (low road blocked by Polis), joined the queue and voila, I was now a formal RIAS COP26 Observer, pretentious moi.

Chest puffed out, my plastic ID dangled from my UN blue lanyard and I strutted around totally lost. I managed to figure out where I stood when I saw the Rolling Stones ten years ago and indeed where I got my vaccinations 10 weeks ago but ended up walking around the big world hanging from the ceiling, photo bombing interviews. I had better call my RIAS pal Mhairi, who being a seasoned campaigner (was here on Day One) could take me under her wing.

Mhairi saved me from the exhaustion of circumnavigating the globe once too often and we glided off to the Blue Zone. Hundreds of stands, exhibitions and talks filled our senses and we flapped around picking up snippets about biodiversity, water management and the flow country. Finally, we perched ourselves in the Nordic Stand to feast on a most excellent discussion between Scotland, Norway and Denmark about their different approaches to 20-minute neighbourhoods and the Place Standard through a climate lens. Suitably stuffed it was time to leave.

The sun was setting as we rotated our way through the gates while a vast array of activists filled the squinty bridge held back by the high vis polis. A chopper hovered above, and we somehow felt on the wrong side of the wire. We consoled each other with determined discussion about what we would do to help our own architectural bubble. Mhairi headed off to the opening of ACAN’s ‘Architecture of Crisis: Hopes + Vision’ exhibition at the New Glasgow Society Gallery in High Street. While I settled down to catch the tail end of Chris Leslie’s wonderful film ‘Disappearing Glasgow’ and his discussion with our own Jude Barber at the ‘The Sustainable Glasgow Landing’ by New Practice.

Loads happening, find out about them all at  More information about the events and activities described above please see below:

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Inspiring Futures website including COP26 activities

Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) COP26 events

The Sustainable Glasgow Landing



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