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New practice: Lateral North

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The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone

Main people Graham Hogg and Tom Smith

Based Glasgow

Founded November 2013

Where have you come from?  
We began Lateral North after finishing our masters degrees at the University of Strathclyde. Previous experience has included firms in Singapore, Glasgow and Dumfries. 

What work do you have?
Our work is mainly community-based, developing a project from the vision and business plan all the way through to completion, ensuring that all the time the community’s interests are at the heart of the project.

The work we undertake is quite niche, meaning that we are approached by communities (at the moment) throughout Scotland, mostly in remote and rural locations. 

What are your ambitions?
Our ambitions at the moment are to have an effect on people’s perceptions of architecture, and show that the skills of an architect can be applied to many different disciplines and opportunities.

Our main aim, though, is to get people to change their perspective on Scotland and see that, in particular, the north of Scotland isn’t a periphery of northern Europe but instead its gateway.

What are the biggest challenges for you as a start-up business and for the profession generally?
Our practice began because we were actively encouraged by our design tutors, Ewan Imrie and David Hasson, to start up by ourselves. It was something that we had toyed with, but without their support there would be no Lateral North, and their continued support has been greatly appreciated. The biggest challenges for us are – like most start-up firms – financial. 

Which scheme, completed in the past five years, has inspired you most? 
One of the biggest inspirations for us has been the Danish Venice Biennale entry for 2012, Possible Greenland. Its scope and vision inspired us hugely.

How are you marketing yourselves?
Our biggest marketing tools are presentations, workshops and exhibitions. Over the past year and a half we have made more than 50 presentations throughout Scotland and this has ensured we get new work delving into different disciplines.

We also use social media a lot to get our work out there.


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