Daniela Federer

Interior & Environmental Design BDes (Hons)

A making project exploring Landownership in Scotland

About

Micro–Macro is a creative response to Landownership in Scotland and its impact on the hills and the environment. The project seeks to create discussion rather than a statement. The concept is built on the idea of observation. Macro, the erased big shelter is looking out to the dramatic mountain view. Walking up a hill just to take a photo, driving to a busy tourist car park, romanticizing Scotland. This shelter represents superficial observation. 
Macro’s sibling, Micro, frames a different experience: As soon as you start looking closer you start questioning what is around you. Micro stands for all the little details found in the Landscape, the plants and animals living in different ecosystems, and the reality that there are a lot of environmental issues to be found in the Scottish hills. 
The two fundamentally different ways of experiencing the hills are visualized through scale, material choices, interactions, and orientation. The main materials used for the design are upcycled palette wood and corrugated iron. Micro-Macro was designed to be taken apart again, meaning that at the end of its life span all the materials can be reused again.

Process

Concept visual of the project showing photos scalling up in size from small to large

Making

When building Micro - Macro, I started with the frame, then prefabricated the walls, roofs, benches, and the platform as independent components so they could be easily transported and assembled on the site. During the building process, I had the opportunity to expand my skills, learning a lot about joinery and timber frame construction. At the start of April 2022, after two months of designing, a month of prototyping and material sourcing, and a month of building, it was finally time to install Micro - Macro. Kindly, I was allowed to install the structures on the Abercairny estate in the breathtaking Sma’ Glen. This site proved to be the ideal location, with kind hospitable landowners, and with a situation that accepted Micro – Marco perfectly. On the day, we transported the structure using a bus, a van, and two land rovers to the site with the aid of nine keen helpers. We split up into two teams constructing one structure each, we managed to install both structures within a day.

Installation on site

 Installation of the wooden construction on a hillside

Micro

Wooden construction sitting in tall grass on a hill

Micro looking out to the river and trees. On the inside panels, a map of the Cairngorms is engraved into the corrugated iron. The idea is that visiting walkers can mark their favourite place in the national park with a magnet. Little telescopes around the structure can be picked up to peak out between the gaps and zoom in on details in the landscape.

Micro details

Macro

Macro, a wooden construction, sitting on a hillside in the mist

Macro is sitting raised up on a hill. Rocks were piled up to even out the ground. The façade of the structure consists of adjustable panels that can be opened and closed to change the view. Photographs from adventures that I’ve had in the Cairngorms over the past four years in Scotland are engraved in the panels. When the sun hits the structure, the shadows create another dimension.

Macro details

Concept visuals

Photos of Scotland and diagrammes illustrating how the construction will look
A selection of images showing a close up of the material used for the construction and drawings of the structure

Interactions

Micro - Macro was designed for Interaction. Visitors are invited to have a peek through the telescopes, play with the magnets, adjust the panels, climb around, or just take a seat and enjoy the beautiful view. People’s interactions are what really make the concept come to life.

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