Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New books about libraries

We've added a couple of new books to GSA library stock about libraries which have caught my eye, given students' current interest in library design. The first, 'How green is my library?', by Sam McBane Mulford, explains how to evaluate the 'greenness' of existing or planned facilities. The second, 'Unpacking my library: architects and their books', by Jo Steffens, offers an intimate look at the personal libraries of 14 of the world's leading architects, including Steven Holl. Full details of both books are, of course, on the GSA Library catalogue.
Access: Available for loan

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Library Initiative

The Library Initiative in New York brought together architects, educators, and school administrators to envision how libraries could function as educational and community centres in the city's schools. A slideshow of some of the Initiative's 50 new libraries is available online, clearly revealing how the projects further benefited from collaborations with graphic and industrial designers and artists.
Access: Free

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spaces of Labour

Spaces of Labour (SOL) is a project that originated in the postgraduate programme in the Department of Architecture at the University of Strathclyde, and its principal mission is to investigate the architectural, spatial and social organisation of work. There is an exhibition at the Glasgow Lighthouse and a website which explores the relationship between architecture, design and Scotland's economic future.

Friday, April 23, 2010


The UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) regularly publishes POSTnotes, which are short briefing notes on a range of current topics. Those issued under the 'Environment and energy' banner may be of particular interest to architects. Recent briefings include renewable heating, global carbon trading, renewable energy, and urban flooding, and all are freely available to download.
Access: Free

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Citing building contracts

GSA Library's Infosmart portfolio of online interactive modules in information and research skills has now been expanded to include advice on how to cite building contracts.
Access: Free for GSA staff and students

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Education in a modern world

The RIBA, together with the V&A, has put together an online resource which charts the evolution of British Modernism and school design between 1930 and 1970. It includes the work of the Hertfordshire County Architects' Department, the Smithsons at Hunstanton, Denys Lasdun at Hallfield Primary, and Erno Goldfinger at Rowlett Street School.
Access: Free

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Archigram Archival Project

Between 1961 and 1974, the Archigram avant-garde architectural group based at the Architectural Association produced nine (and a half) seminal, individually designed, hugely influential and now very rare magazines showcasing their experimental work to a global audience. Now, the Archigram Archival Project at the University of Westminster has made this material freely available online, accompanied by video interviews with the editors. Here at GSA, we hold an original copy of issue 5 of the magazine, edited by Peter Cook in 1964.
Access: Free

Monday, April 19, 2010

Interview with Olaf Eigenbrodt

The website of the Goethe-Institut carries an illustrated interview with library sociologist Olaf Eigenbrodt about new library design in Germany.
Access: Free

Friday, April 16, 2010

Urban green nation

CABE has produced a new report, 'Urban green nation' which seeks to build the evidence base about how many green spaces there are in urban areas, where they are, who owns them, and what condition they are in. It reveals that while people use and value green spaces, not everyone is benefiting equally. The full report and a summary are freely available online.
Access: Free

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Survey of English Housing

The Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) has made freely available online a new combined dataset of the Survey of English Housing covering the period 1993-2008. It includes key housing variables on tenure, owner occupation and the social rented sector, and information about the private rented sector at a variety of spatial levels down to English local authority area.
Access: Free, but registration required

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

|Digimap and OS OpenData

The Ordnance Survey has now made freely available a range of data sets which include both vector and bitmap (raster) maps, data on postcode locations, a gazetteer of road names, and the National Public Transport Access Nodes (NaPTAN) dataset and gazetteer. However, the popular 1:25000 and 1:50000 maps are not included, although next month will see the launch of VectorMap District containing midscale data. EDINA has produced a useful chart which compares its maps with those now covered by OS OpenData, and is inviting feedback from Digimap users.
Access: Free

Monday, April 12, 2010

Charles Bancroft's 'The architect'

Something a little different just added to Library stock, as part of our expanding fiction section: Charles Bancroft's 'The architect', in which '... architect Rob Gilbert's life and career have been as charmed as he is charming, until a mysterious woman and a collapsed building change all that.' It's for anyone interested in design, architecture, and thriller fiction!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Manchester: from rock to rubble

In a short online film, writer Owen Hatherley explores the impact of architecture on Manchester's cultural scene and wonders how, in the city that helped break The Sex Pistols and Joy Division, property development became the new punk rock.
Access: Free