Friday, September 27, 2013

A novel way of creating an architectural model in the form of a book

Check out this great blog post by Colossal on Olafur Eliasson's latest project: Your House.

The Negative Space of a House Cut Inside a 908 Page Book sculpture paper home book architecture

The Negative Space of a House Cut Inside a 908 Page Book sculpture paper home book architecture

The Negative Space of a House Cut Inside a 908 Page Book sculpture paper home book architecture

The Negative Space of a House Cut Inside a 908 Page Book sculpture paper home book architecture

Your House is a limited edition artist’s book by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson that depicts the negative space formed by his home located outside Copenhagen. Every structural detail of the house from the roof, windows, and even a basement crawlspace are depicted within the thick layer of laser-cut paper.
It is quite a unique way of creating an architectural model, which will hopefully fire up your imagination!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Memory blogs as an online resource

At today's Scottish Learning Festival, I got to attend a fascinating lecture by Claire Griffiths who runs the Moray Heritage Memories Project and publishes all the information online in the Moray Heritage Memories blog.

The blog is a great example of a community-led project which generates great inter-generational learning as Claire Griffiths, herself a teacher at Primary and Secondary school level, gets children from Moray to interview their elders (65 yrs old and above) about their memories and professions when they were young. These interviews help uncover the rich heritage of long-lost professions and crafts unique to rural Scotland and lead onto further research and art projects which also get featured on the blog.

This blog is a real mine of information for anyone researching Scottish crafts, culture in the North of Scotland or anything to do with inter-generational community projects as well as oral history projects. Claire Griffiths not only includes the interview transcripts, but also a wealth of images, video materials and sound clips, which will hopefully capture your imagination.

You can also check out Claire Griffith's previous project with the Keith Primary School Memory Blog, which was a similar project but centered around all the Keith Primary School past and present users and their memories of the school around the time it was due to be demolished. This was a great example of giving local communities who had strong feelings against the demolition of the school a place to express the emotions generated by such an event.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Electronic Resource Available: the UK Press Online Newspaper Archive

The Library is trying out a great new online resource available for student over the next month: the UK Press Online Newspaper Archive. This is an online archive of every edition of the UK daily papers such as the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express, the Daily Star, the Church Times, The Watchman, The Daily Worker and many more, going back to before the Second World War.

You might come across photos of these gorgeous hand-drawn plans of the Teddington Church, featured in Church Times...

Or this article published at the time of the Opening of the Whiteley's store in London in 1911...

Or an article covering an incident where architecture failed to uphold health and safety standards and the disastrous consequent results...

The resource is easy to search with a simple search box, where you can enter themes, headlines, dates, or names and your results are returned to you as either Tiff or pdf full-page files, in which the design and content reflects that of the original printed version of the newspaper.

The resource is set up for IP access on the GSA network and accessible via the GSA library catalogue. We're very eager to have students start using this great resource and if it proves popular, we will continue with the subscription.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Online resources: CyArk's Cultural Heritage Library

For digital designers, the creation of a free, online archive of the world's cultural heritage sites by international organisation Cyark, has got us in a bit of a tizz!

CyArk was formed in 2003 with a mission of digital preservation - using advanced digital technologies to capture today's sites of global significance and ensuring they are future-proofed. The wonders being worked by CyArk and other organisations such as GSA's Digital Design Studio at Pacific Quay is a revolution of our digital age. Whereas once ancient sites of historic interest were condemned to the ravages of time, war and natural disasters, new technologies are capturing and storing 3D data about worldwide sites of importance. This data is then used to produce minutely accurate and detailed drawings for work on site conservation and for use in research and education.

As well as helping to preserve the built environment as it is today, the realistic visualisations created can also be used by architects and engineers to discover more about the materials and design of buildings. Anthropologists, archaeologists, and social scientists may also find a purpose for them in endeavoring to learn more about how previous civilisations lived. By combining traditional surveying techniques with newer technologies such as laser-scanning and photogrammetry, this innovative new project heralds a new era for conservation and the archive with CyArk labelled the gold standard by many!

Use the 'world map' function or click on 'projects' to browse the wide range of sites CyArk have contributed work to, and select from the many articles written about individual projects under the 'News & Events' tab. The GSA Library catalogue holds many related book and journal titles on the topic of digital design and imaging, some of which can be found here. For students at DDS, there's also the Digital Design subject guide which will signpost you to relevant study materials.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Catalogue Resource: Material ConneXion

The achingly cool firm Material ConneXion, who are so hip they spell connection with an 'x', have agreed to give us access to their unbelievably extensive database of weird and wonderful materials, where you can search for all the most cutting edge, sustainable and innovative materials and processes emerging worldwide. Material ConneXion claim to have the largest materials and processes library in the world and it is all available here at your finger tips.

The whole point of the database is to give you access to new materials and processes you've never even heard of, so the best way to search it is to go straight to their Advanced Search option, under the search box and there you will be given a whole range of multiple choice search options. Once there, you can look up materials by Category, Processing or Sustainability criteria. You can also search according to Usage (Reflexivity, Scratch Resistance, Thermal conductivity, etc...) or by Physical Properties (Stiffness, Surface/Texture, Transparency, etc...). Combine all of these options any way your heart desires and eagerly await the results. When you select a material of interest, the page will lead you to photos of the material, a comprehensive description as well as the manufacturer's contact details.

This is a truly great opportunity to keep yourself at the forefront of innovative materials for your architectural projects. The rest is up to your imagination! You can also check out the Material ConneXion's book: Material ConneXion: the global resource of new and innovative materials for architects, artists, and designers (745.20284/BEY) currently available for lending in the library's main collection.

To access the Material ConneXion database, just follow this link to the Library Catalogue. Access to the database is restricted to on-campus.
You can also keep yourself up to date with any new additions to the database by subscribing to Material ConneXion's email updates here.

Monday, September 16, 2013

New publications: A+DS Quality and Value in Public Development

Two new reports from Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) provide support to those creating and designing health buildings.

'Sustainability in Re-use' takes a case-study approach to the impact and opportunities of re-using existing healthcare facilities as an alternative to new build projects.The report's findings aim to dispel the myth that existing healthcare buildings are not fit for reuse. It is hoped this will support the NHS to make confident decisions about the reuse of buildings on their existing sites before opting to build new facilities.

The second report, 'Quality and Efficiency: Value for money lessons and performance measures from the Primary Care Reference Design Project'  tasked two architecture practices; BDP and Gareth Hoskins Architects to develop designs for healthcare which fit the government's new agenda for integrated social and health care and could be delivered efficiently and inexpensively. Gareth Hoskins' design was selected for development due to the architects' considered proposal of how the building would compliment the working activities of medical staff in the hospital. The project is an example of the good working practice advocated in 'Creating Places', Scotland's new architecture and place policy statement which was launched in June this year. Read our previous blog post for more detail.

Based in The Lighthouse, Glasgow, A+DS are Scotland's champion for excellence in architecture, place-making and planning. The Scottish government sets out the broad agenda for the organisation making any publication they produce worthy of note to architects and urban developers. Follow on Twitter @ ArcDesSco

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Event: Glasgow Doors Open Days 2013

This week is GSA's Fresher's week, which makes it an apt time for highlighting the forthcoming Glasgow Doors Open Days happening on the 21st and 22nd September.

The popular built heritage festival takes place in areas of architectural interest throughout Scotland, with Glasgow serving as the first location for the event 24 years ago! Proceedings kick off this Monday 16th September with a week of talks, tours and special events and on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd, buildings will open their doors to the public. The programme organised by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust includes a number of buildings not usually open which is what helps to make the festival such a local success. Tantalising glimpses of what lies behind the entrances to some of Glasgow's most mysterious and exciting buildings are revealed for one weekend and, all for free!

This year's festival is giving access to over 100 buildings and sites across the city including the Glasgow School of Art! We're particularly excited about the chance to see inside the new Glasgow Gurdwara in Pollokshields and tour behind the scenes of Central Station. Many of the events will have sold out due to popularity, however there is still the chance to make bookings at many exciting locations - a great way to learn about the city of Glasgow and its rich built heritage.

Download the full programme here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

TV: The Culture Show - Birmingham Central Library

As we race towards the finishing line at the end of the Library's summer-long refurbishment project, we graciously concede that the removal of books from Birmingham's John Madin Library building to the newly opened Birmingham Central Library was a project on an altogether vaster scale.

This was evidenced by last night's Culture Show which saw an initially sceptical Tom Dyckhoff showing us around the exterior of the building before marvelling at its interior circular atrium which floods the nine storeys with natural light. In two roof gardens overlooking a new performance space, Dyckhoff found plenty of members of the public pleased with the spaces provided by the Library for learning and socialising. Their cheerful mood was echoed by one of the head librarians who spoke of the allure of the many thousands of books on the shelves, and the digital advancements keeping the Library alive to the public.

The new £193m building was opened last week amid a blaze of media interest in front of crowds who had gathered to see women's rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai declare the building open. Dutch practice Mecanno have designed a 'golden box' clad with a skin of aluminium rings which while being criticised for its 'bling', inside, offers visitors various options to study in groups or in silent spaces overlooking Birmingham's concrete cityscape. The aim is that visitors feel part of the wider city's community at all times as they traverse the buildings many layers.

The new 'super-library' replaces the architect John Madin's Brutalist 1970s building which looks certain to be bulldozed next year, despite English Heritage's best efforts. Out and out modernist Madin who died last year, is arguably one of the most important British architects of the twentieth century. He was unfortunate to see many of his designs demolished during his lifetime. Prince Charles once famously described Madin's design as looking more like a place for incinerating books than for burning them. (As noted by Freddie Gick of the Birmingham Civic Society has noted: 'One man's architectural triumph is another man's lump of concrete'). Dyckhoff interviewed a photographer who described the sentiment he attaches to the building which for the time being, still sits majestically in Birmingham city-centre while the public fawn over its new and shiny successor. 

To watch last night's programme over the next seven days, visit the iplayer here.

Friday, September 06, 2013

News: 'The Laboratory of Literary Architecture'

An interesting side-project by architect Matteo Pericoli looks at how architecture can be used to assist in the process of creative writing. In a workshop called 'The Laboratory of Literary Architecture', Pericoli brought together students from both disciplines to examine how the principles of architectural design might be used to construct literary spaces. The result are these intricate and conceptual architecture models which are literary representations of the narrative structures of texts chosen by the students.

As part of the project, each student has interpreted their chosen text to consider it afresh from a structural point of view. Having considered the 'structure', they then collaborated with architecture students to construct 3D-models which challenge the rigidity of language with words to think about how meaning is achieved through space and form. Thinking about the similar objectives of writers and architects at the start of their creative processes helps the idea to seem less far-fetched. Pericoli explains how both disciplines are tasked with immersing their audience in spaces which they have imagined and brought to life. The Observer have included an article on the project by the architect which you can read in full here.

This reminds us of New Zealand student Pip Adam's commentary on the influence of architecture on her PhD in creative writing and has got us thinking about the cross-pollination of ideas across the creative arts. Read more in our previous blog post

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Online resource: New downloadable eMagazines Service

You've heard of eBooks, now may we present to you eMagazines! 

Zinio eMagazines is a fantastic new service from Glasgow Libraries which gives you free unlimited access to read digital copies of your favourite magazines with exactly the same pictures, layout and text as the original printed glossy!

We highly recommend using this resource as a way to gain immediate access to the most current magazine issues. The GSA Library catalogue holds a number of Zinio's digital titles in print. The benefits of having a complementary Zinio account with Glasgow Libraries include the ability to build a personalised and permanent collection of eMagazines and the ease of browsing for images. There are no limits on the number of magazines you can check-out, meaning you are always guaranteed your regular dose of cool images and latest news.

eMagazines are available to Glasgow Library members, using their Borrower Number and PIN via the online catalogue. From the catalogue's main page, click on the link to Zinio. You'll be prompted for your email and password to access the list of popular titles. First-time visitors will need to create a Zinio account by following the 'Create New Account' link. This will require you to enter your name, Glasgow Libraries card number, email address and password. It's easy to sign up online if you've not already a member, and start making use of all of Glasgow Libraries' e-resources, straight away.

eMagazines can be read on a computer, smartphone or tablet and can also be used on a wide variety of apps including Apple, Android and Kindle Fire for downloading and reading offline. Over 100 magazines are available covering everything from homes and interiors to cycling, science and technology! Titles include Country Life; Green Living Guide; House & Garden; MacFormat; National Geographic; New Scientist; Rolling Stone and much more. A full list is available here.