Friday, August 27, 2010 is a charitable organisation dedicated to rebuilding the ravaged Lower Ninth-Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana which due to its proximity to the Industrial Canal levee breach, was one of the hardest-hit neighbourhoods in the wake of hurricane Katrina. are aiming for a holistic rebuilding of a community, through such projects as a home rebuilding training program whereby essential skills such as carpentry, electrics and plumbing allow neighbours to work together to build a safer, greener and cleaner area for them and their children. In addition to rebuilding houses, new projects such as the community garden overcome logistical issues such as a lack of amenities in the area as a result of the widespread devastation. This kind of grassroots development demonstrates how in the face of disaster, communities can change for the better.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Lighthouse - Natural Factory Exhibition

This exhibition showcases the past, current and future uses of indigenous Scottish timber – from tree to paper - but in particular the potential to use timber as a building material. It is the first in a series exhibitions investigating sustainable construction products, which will ultimately form the core of the Scottish Government funded Sustainable Materials Library. The exhibition and the resultant Library will operate on a number of levels, and should appeal to young people, the public and professionals alike – whether as a resource for school and student projects, for those building or upgrading their homes or for designers working on large scale architectural projects.

The Lighthouse (11 Mitchell Lane, G1 3NU) exhibitions are free to the public and subject to opening times listed on the website. For enquiries phone: The Lighthouse Reception: 0141 276 5365

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The History of the Ordnance Survey

The Ordnance Survey website, gives free access to two full-text ebooks on the history of the Ordnance Survey. The first is “A History of the Ordnance Survey” (1980) edited by W.A. Seymour and J.H. Andrews and the second is “Ordnance Survey: Map Makers to Britain since 1791” (1992) by Tim Owen and Elaine Pilbeam. These free books will appeal to those interested in the history of map-making, map design, mapping technologies, the publishing industry, the role of maps in the history of British tourism, the intertwining of landscape and history in visual form, the British development of infographics and spatial concepts, and much more. The books are presented for reading online using Flash flip-book software, but those loading this software in their Web browser will find that it also offers a menu icon for downloading each book as a PDF file.

Access : free

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Green agenda – Timber technology

Currently timber is enjoying renewed popularity as a building material because it is carbon-neutral, a good thermal insulator, structurally strong and has the look and feel of a natural resource. If one product encapsulates the current vogue for wood in buildings it is cross-laminated timber (CLT). This structural plywood can be produced up to 27 layers and in panel sizes up to 3m long. The great appeal of CLT is that it is an all-in-one material that can be used as structure, fabric and finish. CLT is invariably produced by, market experts in Austria, Germany and Switzerland (included is a link to German company, Binderholz Bausysteme catalogue which details technical data, characteristic values and various ready made constructions). Despite the continental production, UK architects have been pushing the boundaries of CLT application in projects such as the Woodland Trust headquarters in Grantham and Sainsbury’s in Darmouth.

Access : free

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Right to the City

Examining the link between urbanization and capitalism, David Harvey writes in The New Left Review and suggests we view Haussmann’s reshaping of Paris and today’s explosive growth of cities as responses to systemic crises of accumulation—and issues a call to democratize the power to shape the urban experience.

Access: free

Friday, August 20, 2010

Media Facades Festival

The 2010 Media Facades Festival Europe, which runs from 27 August to 12 September, explores 'the networked possibilities of urban screens and media facades via internet and new technologies on a European level.' In practice, this boils down to a giant multimedia fest in the public spaces of Berlin, Brussels, Helsinki, Liverpool, Budapest, Linz and Madrid. Read all about the programme, the artists, and the spaces and buildings they will be using on the Festival's website.
Access: Free

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Visualising Urban Geographies

A partnership between the National Library of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh has resulted in an online resource which allows new insights into the spatial character and historical development of Edinburgh. 'Visualising Urban Geographies' provides new dynamic maps of the city and enables historic maps to be compared with their present-day equivalents and satellite images.
Access: Free

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Infinite space

The documentary feature film 'Infinite space', which traces the work of prolific American architect John Lautner (1911-1994) was shown recently on BBC2. The Library has made a recording which is now available for loan (DVD 1824). The 90-minute film is directed by Murray Grigor.
Access: Available for loan to GSA staff and students.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The mother of all open space?

I'm just back from a trip to Berlin, where I visited the former Tempelhof Airport, which ceased operating in 2008. Described by Norman Foster as 'the mother of all modern airports', its vast runways have recently been turned into a quite astonishing public space. Curiously, official information about this unique site and its possible future - in English at least - is surprisingly hard to find, and coverage in the architectural press is virtually non-existent.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

New exhibition of rediscovered architecture books!

After coming perilously close to a disastrous end these architecture books from the Bookstore reference collection are on display in the Main Library for you to enjoy. Featuring a variety of styles in various formats including photography, technical drawing and aerial maps hopefully these will spark some creativity or at least a curiosity in the rest of the Bookstore collection.