Inspired by the spark that ignites in us when discovering something new, The Bothy Trail is designed to encourage curiosity in navigating new spaces. Used as a place of refuge in the Scottish mountains, bothies offer a place for explorers to dry off, eat, get warm and share stories with other travellers. The trail features five ‘bothies’, which are linked and discovered through a progression of exploration, from bothy number one to bothy number five. As existing bothies do, the structures throughout the trail embrace the nature of secrecy, individuality and disconnect from the existing world.
Recent research has shown the emergence of ‘The experience economy’ in which people are placing higher value on experiences over possessions. The experience economy has become an essential facilitator to the improvement of mental health. Experiences, or structures, can be designed to orchestrate memorable events. Those memories become the product. This trail aims to provide users with a break from reality and to become the setting for a variety of new and memorable experiences. Along with the well known impact that outdoor pursuits have on mental health, participation in the trail should accommodate those simply wishing to experience something new, and those in need of a change of perspective. Wether feeling lost or looking to get lost, users will find a new outlook from the progression of urban to natural landscape.
The trail starts weird in an old underground victorian toilet, and ends warm in a whisky still inspired bothy named ‘The Hearth’. Each Bothy should encourage playful experiences and intimate thoughts of self and place within the wider landscape of our being. The trail aims to celebrate oddities and encourage storytelling from both the structure and user. The structures blur the line between fantasy and reality in a way that is whimsical and playful. Each bothy takes inspiration from an element of physical play and employs themes of childhood nostalgia, encouraging users to forget about responsibilities and sensibilities. Participation in the trail allows users to disconnect from reality and to connect on a deeper level with their environment, others and themselves.