Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Blog Retirement

After nine years of writing, informing, selecting, presenting, crimping and cropping, the blogs are heading into retirement. Quite nice for the blogs, really, but perhaps not for you. Though don't worry, any interesting information or events will now be posted on Twitter for your consumption!

Take care out there.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Urban Section by Robert Mantho Ebook

The design of streets, and the connections between streets of different character, is the most important task for architects and urbanists working in an urban context. Considered at two distinct spatial scales - that of the individual street - the Street Section - and the complex of city streets - the City Transect - Urban Section identifies a range of generic street types and their success or otherwise in responding to climatic, cultural, traditional, morphological, social and economic well being.

Due to the popularity of this title, the Library has now made available an electronic version - 

Whether you're on or off campus, you can access the book online using your log in and password.

Happy reading.

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Influence of the Bauhaus

BBC Radio 4 have recently broadcast a short piece on the influential Bauhaus school - 

'Neil MacGregor focuses on the Bauhaus school of art and design, founded in Weimar in 1919.
Our cities and houses today, our furniture and typography, are unthinkable without the functional elegance pioneered by the Bauhaus'

Home to influential figures like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinksy and Walter Gropius (among many others),  the Bauhaus was founded on the idea of creating a "total" work of art in which all arts, including architecture, would eventually be brought together. The Bauhaus style later became one of the most influential currents in modern design, Modernist architecture and art, design and architectural education.

If you would like to know more, the Library has over 100 books related to the school, that you can take out at your own pleasure (though not all at once).

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Continuation of Fanzine Collection

Following on from our last post, here is another contribution to the new fanzine collection we are developing in the Library.

Engawa is an architecture fanzine from Spain which includes essays, photographs and illustrations. The zine takes its name from the Japanese word 'Engawa', meaning the space between the interior and exterior of classic Japanese architecture - a transitional space suggesting invitation or welcome, but also projection and opening.

Look out for more fanzine posts as they come into the Library. And if you would like to contribute to the collection, email Benjamin Ellis at b.ellis@gsa.ac.uk

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Beginning of a Fanzine Collection

We are building a collection of fanzines over the coming year as part of a new section of the library.

 This contribution from Benjamin Critton, entitled, 'Evil People in Modernist Homes in Popular Films', addresses the association of villains with modernist architecture in films such as Blade Runner, L.A. Confidential, Diamonds Are Forever, The Damned Don't Cry, and several others. The fanzine contains essays and photographs on the topic, and will be made available to students in the near future.


Keep an eye out for blogs on new fanzines as they come into the Library - and if you would like to make a contribution to the new collection with a fanzine of your own, email Benjamin Ellis at - b.ellis@gsa.ac.uk

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Antonine Wall

 Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Antonine Wall was the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire. Built on the orders of the Emperor Antoninus Pius in the years following AD 140, it ran for 40 Roman miles (60 km) from modern Bo’ness on the Firth of Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde.

The line of the wall crosses five modern local authorities (East Dunbartonshire, Falkirk, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire) and there are a number of sites and museums in each of these areas.

 The Antonine Wall was both a physical barrier and a symbol of the Roman Empire’s power and control. It was never a stone wall, but consisted of a turf rampart fronted by a wide and deep ditch. Forts and fortlets provided accommodation for the troops stationed on the frontier and acted as secure crossing points to control movement north and south. Behind the rampart, all the forts were liked by a road known as the Military Way. The wall was the most northerly frontier of the empire and, when it was built, was the most complex frontier ever constructed by the Roman army. It was the last of the linear frontiers to be built by the Romans and was only occupied for about a generation before being abandoned in the AD 160s.

If you'd like to know more about the Antonine Wall, the library has lots of books on the subject for you to take out. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Mac Photographic Archive

'The unfortunate fire at Glasgow School of Art on 23rd May 2014 destroyed much-loved parts of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building on Renfrew Street. In an attempt to document the building for posterity, The Mac Photographic Archive allows students, alumni, staff, and tourists to upload their personal record of the school.

A current Google search will return a myriad of images of the exterior of the building. However, it is the intention of The Mac Photographic Archive to concentrate on gathering a comprehensive record of the interior of the building, from the people who have used it since its completion in 1909.

Users can tag their photos with the floor and room in which the photograph was taken, estimate the date and annotate accordingly.

Any suggestions or corrections are welcome, please contact:

mail [at] the-mac-photo-archive [dot] net.'

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Radio 4 - The Map That Made Manhattan

A radio feature from the BBC exploring the genesis of the city grid system, which is particularly relevant to Glasgow(!).

'Filled with the sounds and atmosphere of New York, and hearing entirely from its residents (from city architects and historians to taxi drivers and subway engineers) this feature traces the evolution and impact of arguably the most important, far reaching and visionary piece of urban design ever created. It explores the geometry of the grid on more than just an architectural level, but as the brilliant intersection of architectural vision, with imaginary and cultural space.'

Monday, September 22, 2014

Façades - Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

Façades is an on-going series of work by French photographer Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy that imagines a world where façades have been completely isolated from buildings. The project in his own words:
The façade is the first thing we see, it’s the surface of a building. It can be impressive, superficial or safe. Just like wandering through a foreign city, I walk through the streets with these questions: what will happen if we stick to that first vision? If the daily life of “The Other” was only a scenery? This series thus offers a vision of an unknown world that would only be a picture, without intimate space, with look as the only refuge.
If you would like to know more about façades in general, the GSA Library has a number of relevant books on the subject, held in its Architecture section on the main floor.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Strategic Questions - New Display at the Library

As you may have seen from our Twitter account, there is a new display on the second floor of the GSA library.

Based on Strategic Questions (curated by Gavin Wade, 2002) - an on-going project to develop forty projects in response to forty questions written by architect R. Buckminster Fuller. Each project is an artwork or combination of artworks developed in relation to forty different publication scenarios. Each project tackles one question (such as, 'What is intellect?', 'What is wealth?', etc.) and is placed into an existing magazine, journal or other publication vehicle (or a new publication is developed in response to a specific site and context).

These strategic questions were written by R. Buckminster Fuller as part of a statement to a leading figure in the world building industry. The statement is called Design Strategy (1966), and was published in Fuller's Utopia or Oblivion: The Prospects for Humanity (1969, p.352). It is Fuller's proposition that to achieve total success for all humanity until the end of time, all interested parties must agree upon the answers to these strategic questions before they can successfully combine their efforts.

If you'd like find out more about the project, then please follow this link. You can also find a full bibliography for everything on display on the library VLE site.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Artists U: a Movement for sustainable art practice

Artists U are a movement originating from America questioning the current cycle of unsustainable exploitative practices in the field of art and trying to offer an alternative.

Their mission statement is as follows:

Artists U is a grassroots, artist-run platform for changing the working conditions of artists.
Make art. Don’t starve.
We want to change the conversations artists have in our heads, with each other, and with the world.
We push artists to build lives that are balanced, productive, and sustainable.
We are skills-based, not need-based: we work to empower artists to create their lives and their art.
We don’t give advice. We don’t do things for you.
Everything we do is artist-to-artist and free for all participants.

Artists U have now produced a book, which is available to buy online, but also free to download as a PDF, called Making Your Life as an Artist. They are aiming to get 100,000 artists to read this book (and have reached 57,882 downloads so far). Follow this link to download a copy for yourself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mark, a new magazine for Architecture

The GSA Library is happy to announce that we're now subscribing to Mark magazine:

"Mark magazine is a platform for the practice and perception of architecture at the dawn of the third millennium. Since its launch in 2005, the magazine has proven to be a timely, visual, non-academic publication full of first-hand information from creative people. Mark has a radically international perspective, shining its spotlight on starchitects and new talent alike. The magazine explores the boundaries of architecture and anticipates the industry’s future."

Mark Magazine is published 6 times a year and the June/July edition is now available for perusal on the first floor of the library in the Magazines section.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Times Digital Archive now available on campus!

I'm sure you'll all be happy to hear that the GSA Library can now give you access to the entire digital archive of the Times newspaper from 1785 to 2008. The Times Digital Archive offers access to 220 years of The Times as full-text facsimile. It's a great opportunity for students and researchers to explore the context surrounding the period of time covered by their research.

The Times Digital Archive is accessible on campus only via the GSA Library catalogue. Follow this link to try it out today.

Monday, June 30, 2014

New online resource: Arts Search

As some may know, the GSA Library lost a great number of its pre-1985 journal collections in the fire of the 23rd of May, including seminal publications such as The Studio and Dekorative Kunst, which were of great interest to researchers at the art school.

We're currently working on rebuilding those collections in print, however meanwhile, we're happy to inform you that we have subscribed to Arts:Search, an online journal database which contains many of the most important decorative and fine arts journals published in Europe and the USA during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, making them available for the first time in a searchable form online.

Arts:Search also offers the opportunity to access Arts+Architecture ProFiles (AAP), a biographical dictionary of modern designers, craftspeople, artists and architects, and Design Abstracts Retrospective (DAR), a new ongoing abstracting and indexing service that aims to cover many of the most important design and applied arts journals and annuals published during the twentieth century.

Access to this online resource is available via the GSA Library Catalogue, on campus only.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Architecture Sound Archive at the British Library

The British Library holds an online sound archive of over 5000 selected recordings of music, spoken word and human and natural environment. Amongst that collection they also hold over a 1000 recordings documenting the lives of British architects and those in associated professions. Prominent interviewees include Sir Hugh Casson, Ralph Erskine, Sir Denys Lasdun, Mary Lutyens, Sir Philip Powell and Colin St. John Wilson.

The interviews were carried out for the National Life Stories project Architects' Lives, which began in 1989 and continues today. All the recordings are accessible via the British Library's catalogue and available online. Check here for the index of interviewees.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home

A stunning feat of aerial architecture, Do Ho Suh continues to explore the themes of home, displacement and cultural exchanges with his latest work at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.
In this piece, he has created an exact architectural replica of his LA home in fabric and placed within it a replica of his family's traditional Korean home, creating a surreal juxtaposition. Follow this link to read more about the installation.

Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home

Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home

Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home

Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Internet Detective: Improve your internet search skills

Were you disappointed with the mark on your last essay? Did you get pulled up for using the wrong mix of sources or poor quality sources? Maybe you need to brush up on your internet search skills with the Internet Detective, a free online tutorial geared towards academic writing.

This online tutorial will take you through examples of good and bad sources and citations and explain the difference between the two. It also has little quizzes to test your knowledge as well as information on referencing and copyright law.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Architecture re-imagined via photography...

Check out the work of artist Victor Enrich whose imagination is simply limitless when it meets the right building. Like a game of tetris with a dash of rubix cube, Enrich shuffles windows, floors and perspectives in a fun and playful way. Below are photos of his latest work inspired by a building in Munich.

Photographer Víctor Enrich Imagines the Same Building in Munich Configured in 88 Ways digital architecture

Photographer Víctor Enrich Imagines the Same Building in Munich Configured in 88 Ways digital architecture

Photographer Víctor Enrich Imagines the Same Building in Munich Configured in 88 Ways digital architecture

Photographer Víctor Enrich Imagines the Same Building in Munich Configured in 88 Ways digital architecture

Photographer Víctor Enrich Imagines the Same Building in Munich Configured in 88 Ways digital architecture

Check out the artist's blog to find out more about his work.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

OpenAIR Library

The University of York have recently released a new project called the Open Air Library, a database of acoustic impulse responses (reverberations) available to download under a Creatives Common license for auralization. Auralization is used more and more by researcher to predict the quality of sound produced in a building depending on the materials used, but also by game designers to recreate specific sounds produced within the game's buildings as well as for various virtual reality applications.

Hamilton Mausoleum

Some of the sounds available to download have been generated and recorded within real world settings and other have been computer generated. You can search for each use the world map. The library also includes a database of sounds recorded within an anechoic environment, which you can browse here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New online resource: The Network Rail Archive

The archives of Network Rail have been amassing information about its history and construction for over 200 years and they are now preparing to make this information more accessible to the public with an online archive.
Not all the information held in Network Rail's archive will become available online, but they will posting new information on a regular basis to coincide with events and anniversaries. The online version contains lots of historical timelines, photos, information on topics such as engineering, as well as links to other resources for finding out information on a whole range of topics.
Follow this link to access the online Network Rail Archive and if there's any information you need but can't find on the site, contact the archivist here.

Monday, April 07, 2014

New e-Book: Visions of suburbia

We're happy to announce a new addition to our e-Book collection in Architecture: Visions of Suburbia, edited by Roger Silverstone.

Suburbia - "Tupperware", television, bungalows and respectable front lawns. Always instantly recognisable though never entirely familiar. The tight semi-detached estates of 1930s Britain and the infenced and functional tract housing of middle America. The elegant villas of Victorian London and the clapboard and brick of 1950s Sydney. Architecture and landscapes may vary from one suburban scene to another, but the suburb is the embodiment of the same desire; to create for middle class middle cultures, middle spaces in middle America, Britain and Australia. This volume considers this emergent architectural space, this set of values and this way of life. The contributors address suburbia and the suburban from the point of view of its production, its consumption and its representation. Placing suburbia centre stage, each essay examines what it is that makes suburbia so distinctive and what it is that has made suburbia so central to contemporary culture.

Whenever possible, if a book is proving very popular and its many copies are always out on loan with lots of reservations, we try to find it as an e-book to make it available to all the students. All e-books are available on Dawson Era and you can access them via the link listed on their catalogue entry. You will need to use your institutional login to access any e-books off campus. 
If any other books are proving equally popular and over-subscribed, you can make a purchase suggestion and we'll look into whether it is available and we can purchase it as an e-book.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Intellect Journals: Design Ecologies

The GSA Library are happy to announce that they have taken out an electronic subscription to the ground breaking collection of Intellect Journals. We'll be telling you about the various journals included in the subscription over the coming months and today we're highlighting Design Ecologies, a journal described by its editor, Dr. Shaun Murray, as follows:

"Design Ecologies foregrounds the inextricable connection between human communication and ecological accountability in architectural design. This burgeoning field has the potential to become a far-reaching discipline, bonding a community that crosses over into and out of architecture, environment, interaction, urbanism, and performing arts and communication.
Through original design exploration ranging in scale, the journal will proffer a critical vision towards the built environment, and promote ecological transitions within local and global contexts. It will challenge the everyday emerging practices of architectural design by offering a transdisciplinary framework for design production."

This journal is currently in its 4th publication and a great new resource for Architecture and other disciplines. It's accessible electronically through our catalogue, following this link. Access off-campus will require an institutional login using your GSA login and password.

Monday, March 31, 2014

New Google Offices in Amsterdam

Google are renowned for their whacky office interiors and the latest addition in Amsterdam doesn't disappoint. The refurbishment was undertaken by the Dutch firm DDock who say they took their inspiration from the garage where founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google. Find out more about their thoughts on the design here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What I Know Is: A Research Symposium on Online Collaborative Knowledge-Building

The GSA Library attended last week a fascinating symposium on the theme of open knowledge and open education at the University of Stirling.

The first strand of the Symposium was on Digital Publishing and Open Access and got started with Ally Crockford, currently Wikimedian-in-Residence at the National Library of Scotland. Ally commented on some of the perceived anxieties about Wikipedia in library environments such as anxieties about the way students are now accessing information via Wikipedia rather than via library collections and anxieties about whether Wikipedia will soon make institutions such as libraries obsolete. Ally argued for exactly the opposite of the perceived anxieties, namely that rather than making libraries obsolete, Wikipedia holds the possibility of driving more traffic back into libraries thanks to its referencing system, but also of driving more traffic towards some of the digital initiatives that libraries are undertaking nowadays. Ally used the example of project specific resources, such as the Duncan Street Explorer or the Scottish Science Hall of fame, which a lot of time and effort has gone into, but which you wouldn't necessarily come across unless you were specifically carrying out research on that topic. Wikipedia on the other hand has a strong factor of incidental traffic which leads itself to discovery, so instead of acting as competition, Wikipedia can instead act as a gateway to these digital projects. If more librarians and other professionals in the Gallery, Museums and Archives sector add references to Wikipedia, then it has the potential of becoming a structure that supports open access to these digital resources and platforms.

In the same strand, Padmini Ray Murray, who teaches at the university of Sterling and has recently become a  Board Trustee for the Wikimedia UK Foundation, then carried the conversation onto ideas linked with Open Access Publishing. Padmini introduced her address in the context of the debate raised by Harvard in 2012 when they chose to denounce the outrageous prices set by academic publishers and instead urged their academic staff to switch to publishing their research through open-access journals. Padmini compared the current academic publishing structure to that outlined in Sorenson Mork Peterson's essay Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation analysing user exploitation trends occurring in Web 2.0. Padmini went on to outline a number of initiatives which have been trying to offer solutions to this issue, such as the Aaron Swartz's wish, leading to tax-funded research becoming freely available and the recent Knowledge Unlatched initiative which seeks to make books freely accessible on a Creative Commons license with the help of libraries around the world. Padmini added that she also saw academics using and contributing to Wikipedia as a stance of political resistance in this context. She sees the act of making academic knowledge and research openly accessible as part of our civic responsibilities, in reference to Tim Berners-Lee's recent call for a digital users' Bill of Rights, which should surely go hand in hand with a bill of responsibilities? In conclusion, Padmini drew our attention to Ben Werdmuller's definition of "Respectful Software", which is something for all of us to aspire to in the world of open access.

In the afternoon, we moved on to a new strand on Networked Communities, Commons and Open Learning. Penny Travlou from the University of Edinburgh, talking about her ethnographic research on networked artist communities and the concept of Co-Creation as a Model of Creativity. Penny made reference to the current maker movement with David Gauntlet's book Making is Connecting and its influence on contemporary art. She then expanded on some examples of open-source, networked art making with movements such as Art is open Source and the Furtherfield community which she explored as part of her ethnographic research. As another example of open-source art project, Penny also drew oour attention to Salvatore Laconesi's project La Cura, which she'd been involved with as a participant. As part of the discussion following the presentation, the point was raised that these collaborative cyber art practices are still not considered part of mainstream art, but rather exist as a marginal element, still awaiting recognition as Claire Bishop describes in her essay The Digital Divide.

The next part of that strand was led by Lorna Campbell, from CETIS, who works with OpenScotland and the UK Open Knowledge Foundation. Lorna began her talk by touching on some of the legacies of the UK OER program and in particular about the yearly OER conferences which continue to take place despite the original OER program having come to an end and are going from strength to strength (the next OER conference will be taking place in Newcastle at the end of April). Lorna pointed out a couple of interesting Scottish examples of OERs with the Napier 3E Framework and the Glasgow Caledonian University Library OER Guidelines, as well as drawing attention to Re:Source, the new resource-sharing platform for the college sector in Scotland, all providing support structures for the further development of new OERs. Some interesting conversations came up during Lorna's talk in relation to MOOCs and the fact that they are free, but not open-source, raising the point of what constitutes open in the context of education.

The conversation ended with a discussion between Toni Sant and Greg Singh on the theme of digital humanities. Toni Sant is currently the head of the Wikimedia UK Education Outreach initiative and teaches at the university of Hull. Practicing what he preaches, Toni hasn't read a student essay since 2010, assessing them instead on their contributions to Wikipedia. He'll be leading the next Annual EduWiki Conference, which will be taking place in Edinburgh either end of October or beginning of November 2014 (dates to be confirmed).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

London from below...

Fancy seeing a different side of London? Plans for an underground rail ride have been given the go ahead as part of the new Postal Museum in Islington. People will be given the opportunity to take a ride on the Mail Rail, a repurposed underground rail which will follow through 1km of the original tunnels used for transport of the royal mail, following the same route that much of the nation’s mail took for nearly 80 years from 1927-2003.