Thursday, December 20, 2012

'Bomb Sight' Project Documents The Blitz.

Bomb Sight is a free, online, and interactive map of every recorded bomb site during the heaviest eight-month shelling of London in World War II.

Compiled by the University of Portsmouth and The National Archives using census data taken between October 1940 and May 1941, the map documents the scale of the Blitz in a new and visually arresting way. A proliferation of red dots marks the spot where each bomb landed. Previously, this information could only have been viewed in written format via the Reading Room at The National Archives. The locations of the bombs have been combined with photographs from the Imperial War Museum and memories taken from the BBC's WW2 People's War Archive to enable anyone to research the stories of those involved and affected by the war.

Architects interested in post-war urban-planning may be interested to learn that there is an Android app which, when a phone is pointed at a street scene, will display the bombs that fell nearby.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Charles Jencks' Desert Island Discs

For those not able to attend the recent Charles Jencks' event at the Mitchell Library, it is still possible to listen to the famed architect in conversation with Kirsty Young as part of Radio 4's popular Desert Island Discs series. The forty-five minute run-through of Jencks' musical cherrypickings can be accessed on BBC iPlayer. The title of the show seems apt given Jencks' career in creating idyllic, and iconic, landscapes. Listen to the music that sculpted his career whilst speculating how he would have formed his own cosmic environment.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Above Scotland

'Above Scotland' is an excellent small exhibition currently showing at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. It uses superb aerial photography to explore how Scotland's settlements have been developed in response to the landscape, and is based around the ley themes of ritual and religion, taming the earth, defending the land, enlightment, and engine room. 'Above Scotland' runs until 3 Feb 2013 and is free; it is accompanied by three books which will shortly arrive in GSA Library.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Yale Women In Architecture

Read a free, online article about the history of women students at Yale University since the School of Architecture's first female graduate in 1949. Nina Rappaport wrote the piece which looks at the architecture profession as one which has been traditionally male-dominated despite a near fifty-fifty split between the sexes on enrolment to architecture degree programmes in later decades.

In 2012, while the disparity is diminishing, Yale has hosted the first event of its kind to celebrate the accomplishments of its alumnae and to consider the future contributions that women may make to the benefit of the architecture profession at large.

Two book titles by the same author can be found on the GSA Library catalogue.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Architecture on UCL Lunch Hour Lectures

University College London's (UCL) 'Lunch Hour Lectures' are worth keeping an eye on for topics on architecture. The lectures take place at the university each day between 1pm and 2pm, are streamed live online, and can be watched from 2 weeks after the event on the website or via UCL's YouTube channel. The lectures can also be downloaded from iTunes U. 

The content covers the entire scope of research areas in UCL and is exceptionally varied as a result. There is the odd architectural gem to be discovered however, such as 'The Metaphysics of Concrete' from February 2012 which looks at the Western world's growing consumption of concrete as building material and questions of design to which such consumption inevitably give rise. 

The link to this particular lecture is given below. We'll continue to blog about others of interest to GSA students in future.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Shortlist of Architecture Firms for George Square Re-design

Six architecture firms have been shortlisted in the design competition to redevelop Glasgow's iconic George Square. The £15m project attracted 35 international submissions from far flung places including Australia and Sweden. The winner will be commissioned with the crucial task of redesigning Glasgow's most famed urban space. Given the scale of the proposed transformation, all statues and monuments with the exception of the Cenotaph could be removed, at least on a temporary basis. It is anticipated that the project will be carried out in two stages with the first stage being completed before the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Details of the finalists can be found at the link below. All six designs are expected to be displayed in the Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture, in early January.,frameless.htm?NRMODE=Published

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Manchester Modernist Society

A unique group of influential writers, broadcasters, lecturers and general architecture enthusiasts help to form the unique collective known as the Manchester Modernists. Since its foundation in 1965, the not-for-profit  society has existed to candidly document anything of architectural intrigue around the city, be that at street level or hidden from view behind the patina of modern-day Manchester's "tarted up million dollar revamps." The history of the huge influence of modernist styles on this one-time, industrial city is distilled through the members' humorous observations and anecdotes on a website which exudes personality through its witty presentation style.

The influence of the post-war, modernist period on the area is well-documented in turgid textbooks. This site provides a fun and current perspective aimed at engaging the public in a discussion about the 20th century backdrop they inhabit. Have a nosy at their mission statement and check out the pictures of local architecture shown on the group's Flickr page.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Charles Jencks Event at the Mitchell Library

One of architecture's most significant theorists Charles Jencks is to speak at the Mitchell Library next Saturday 1st December as part of Book Week Scotland. American-born Jencks is perhaps most well-known for his public landscape piece 'The Garden of Cosmic Speculation' near Dumfries as well as having helped to steer the design of Maggies Cancer Caring Centres.  He has written extensively on the topic of postmodernism, speculating on what this movement has meant for the field of architecture in its shift from modernist design. Many of these titles are held on the GSA catalogue if you wish to do some swotting around the event. Given Jencks' affinity with Scotland via his Scottish ancestry and time spent living in the country, this is likely to be an informative, yet personal account of a highly influential designer's career.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Update on Latest Architecture Resources

Two new e-books have been added to the GSA library catalogue this week. The first, 'The Practice of Modernism' (2007) by John Gold discusses the challenges faced by a generation of architects in the mid-twentieth century following dissatisfaction at the initially well-received, infiltration of modernist architecture and town planning projects. The second, 'Agropolis: The Social, Political and Environmental Dimensions of Urban Agriculture' (2005) edited by Luc J.A. Mougeot collates the work of ten research papers in various international 'city-farming' projects to advocate for further study in the area of urban agriculture as a necessary means of developing sustainability theory. Both resources can be accessed via the library catalogue using DawsonEra by following the url. on the catalogue record. MyGSA log-in details are required.

In addition, undergraduate dissertations can now be requested at the Library Desk for 2012's cohert of graduates. A full history of all student dissertations can be found on the GSA Library website:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Flanders Moss Viewing Tower

This 7 metre high structure situated west of Stirling was commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage with the aim of providing a viewpoint over Britain's largest peat bog. Made of green oak, the tower has been constructed using 8 metre-high posts which sit on a steel platform. Interestingly, the steel piling used sinks below the surface through 10 metres of peat bog to reach clay, meaning a great deal of the engineering of the simple construction is obscured from view. Designed by Robin Baker Architects at a cost of £110k, this is a unique feature rising out of the Stirlingshire landscape, which manages to complement its historic and extraordinary setting.

Friday, November 16, 2012

GSA Building Plans on VLE

Exclusive to GSA staff and students are the drawing plans for the School's campus which can be found on the VLE. A commonly sought, but little known resource, the plans show the floor layout of the existing campus buildings. To access, log into Blackboard, and select the 'Course Catalogue' tab. From here, select the 'Support Services' folder and click on the link to GSA Estates. The 'Building Drawings' button contains detailed plans for the Mackintosh, and all subsequent buildings constructed on the Garnethill campus. Drawings of the Foulis Building and Newbery Tower are there to be analysed which may make for interesting comparison against the new Steven Holl building. Plans for the new build are not yet on the VLE. We'll blog about it if they become available!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Glasgow's Urban Realm of Alleys

A brief article looking at Glasgow's back-courts, alleys and hidden spaces features in the current issue of 'Urban Realm' a journal specific to the architectural design industry in Scotland. The article is largely pictorial and discusses the untapped potential of the city's substantial network of lanes which obscure the architectural quality of some of Glasgow's most prominent buildings from view. With little written on the subject, this snippet is a good example of the types of local discussion found in the journal, famous for its Carbuncle Award. Urban Realm is available for browsing on level 1 of the GSA library alongside the current issues of periodicals. Back-runs of the journal under its previous title 'Prospect' can also be found at the back of the ground level.

Friday, November 09, 2012

One for the diary - Owen Hatherley!

Architectural critic Owen Hatherley is to chair a free event 'The Golden Tenement Talk' next Saturday, 17th November between 2pm and 4pm at The People's Palace in Glasgow. The talk accompanies the exhibition, 'Scotland Can Make It!' at which six souvenir prototypes inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are on display to the public until 13th January 2012. The souvenirs, designed and manufactured entirely in Scotland, aim to offer a lasting material legacy of both major events whilst expressing a strong message about Scotland’s rich and imaginative cultural landscape.

In keeping with this theme of heritage, Owen Hatherley's talk will explore the impact of major events on buildings and cities using Glasgow, Manchester and London as examples to engender debate around the broader architecture themes of urban regeneration, displacement and identity.

To book your place at the event, you can contact Panel on 0141 559 4980 or at

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Designs on Kew - Follow the Self-Building Project

In a project Kevin McCloud would have been happy to get his hands on, Kew House is a modern infill house in London which landowners Jo and Tim Lucas have been working to develop since September 2010. The construction of the self-building project which is now in its final stages can be followed online using the detailed timeline. A fantastic amount of description and photographs are given at all stages from locating the land in Kew, to the appointment of Piercy&Co as the project's architects, through to the pre-application process, planning, design and construction of the house. The highs and lows of the project are documented in a casual and personal tone which manages to belie the impressive size and ambition of this inspirational under-taking.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Imagined Architecture

An illustrated archive of improvised, un-built buildings and sculptures is available to flip through online. 'Drawing Building' is a collaboration between artists Matt Bua and Maximilian Goldfarb who opened the project up to a wide variety of professionals including artists, architects and designers. The suggested categories to entice participants include such titles as 'Microcommunity' 'Misuse' and 'Technosustainable' and the submissions received veer from the eccentric to impossible, whilst always demonstrating great conceptual innovation and a fantastical vision of the future. Drawings are added to the archive as they are received by Bua, an installation artist and Goldfarb who works across artistic mediums. Non-conformist and non-conventional, the contributions here are intended to raise the profile of alternative ways of thinking about the design of the built environment.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Foundations for a New Future in Housing

Hot off the press, the Future Homes Commission have released the findings of a year-long national inquiry into the quality of newly built housing in the UK. 'Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs' calls for more investment into high-quality architectural design to help drive the recovery of the housing crisis and increase the well-being of British homeowners. The report proposes the UK can be lifted out of recession, thousands of new jobs generated and the housing shortage problem solved by a complete overhaul of the way new housing development is funded, built and marketed. RIBA, who launched the inquiry in September 2011, are supportive of the Commission's proposals for income to be generated from within local authority government to finance a three-fold increase needed in new home constructions. The focus on good design for the future with consideration to the needs of the homeowner is a central aspect of the pioneering report which is freely available as a pdf document via the RIBA website. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Patrick Keiller on BFI Screenonline

A synopsis of the life and works of one time architect turned film-maker Patrick Keiller is available from the British Film Institute's Screenonline encyclopedia which enables researchers to digitally browse the collections of the BFI National Archive for film and television footage. It is possible to watch several clips from Keiller's topographical film collection, each of which shows the film-maker's preoccupation with the architecture and urban environment of the English landscape. His themes are politically militant, centering as they do around the Britain's capitalist culture and the architectural malaise that this has caused for the industrial homelands located in the North and the Midlands when compared to thriving urban developments. GSA library stock a couple of Keiller's feature length works: 'Robinson in Space' (1996) and 'Robinson  in Ruins' (2010) can both be found in the DVD collection at the Main Library, numbered 2045 and 2047 respectively.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The latest Journal Table of Contents (TOCs)

JournalTOCs sponsored by Heriot-Watt University, pulls together a database of Table of Contents (TOCs) from 20,263 scholarly journals and provides a convenient point of access to search these TOCs.
As well as providing comprehensive lists of the most highly regarded journals, the latest published research from some 1282 publishers is also searchable online with the aim of providing alerts to researchers when new issues of academic publications are about to be published. Even if you’re not a researcher or academic, these publications can still be useful to identify likely future trends, or how technology or an idea is being implemented. You can also learn the names of researchers and where the research is taking place. 
A substantial number of these publications are open access so the full text is quickly and directly accessible online for free. GSA subscribe to the relevant art and design, and architecture journals.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Glasgow Commonwealth Arena Opens

Glasgow City Council opened its sports facilities at the Glasgow Commonwealth Arena to the public this month as work is completed on the connecting sports arena and velodrome ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The building designed by 3DReid architects houses two distinct arenas connected by office space. A brief overview of the design can be viewed on the architect's site as well as information on 3DReid's corpus of work in a wide range of sectors including retail, hotels, health, education and airport facilities:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


One of the most widely read architecture blogs in the industry, BLDG Blog comments on a myriad of topics with no fixed itinerary other than to simply cover what is deemed to be interesting. The varied post headings should spark off curiosity in the content: "Garage Warfare", "Gossamer Systems" and "Caves of Nottingham" are among October's blogs. An assortment of topics to inspire anyone interested in architecture and the built urban environment.

Monday, October 15, 2012

RIBA 2012 Architecture Award Winner

The Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) has awarded the best European building designed in Britain to Stanton Williams Architects for Cambridge University's Sainsbury Laboratory. The prestigious Stirling Prize is one of the highest accolades in British architecture. The 2012 shortlist can be viewed at the link as well as the back catalogue of previous years' winners.

Friday, October 12, 2012



CONTEMPORIST, as this modestly written blog states, is a celebration of contemporary culture focused on architecture, design, art and travel. The emphasis here is on lavish visuals with the blog publishing one large picture of some avant-garde piece of design each day. An important stream of news on innovative building design is readily available by visiting the link .

Thursday, October 11, 2012

PLEA Conference Proceedings

Conference proceedings for PLEA 'Passive and Low Energy Architecture' are available through the organisation's website including an overview into what is planned for this year's annual international conference in Lima between 7th and 9th November. An online search facility will enable you to browse information on sustainable architecture and urban design published as part of the previous twenty-seven conference proceedings. A section dedicated to the best PLEA posters may also catch the eye of any ardent designer.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Top of the Blogs...?

The Dezeen blog was launched at the end of November 2006 and has grown rapidly to become one of the most popular and influential architecture and design blogs on the internet. The blog provides a carefully edited selection of the best architecture, design and interiors projects from around the world and is a must-read for any architecture student. (

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

New e-book on architectural colour

We've just added a new e-book to library stock. 'Architectural Colour in the Professional Palette' looks at how particular contemporary architects use colour confidently and intelligently as an integral part of their design philosophy, in conjunction with their choices of materials and finishes. You can search for this book on the GSA library catalogue and follow the link to the electronic copy. You'll need your MyGSA log-in to read it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The architecture of Scotland's National Parks

Historic Scotland has produced two richly illustrated online booklets ( celebrating the architectural heritage of Scotland's National Parks, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and the Cairngorms. Each focuses on a wide variety of structures grouped by theme, and including vernacular buildings, major structures such as castles, and infrastructure projects to support roads, railways and power generation. Both boklets can be freely downloaded as pdfs.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


ICAM is the International Confederation of Architectural Museums, and is dedicated to fostering links between all those interested in promoting the better understanding of architecture. ICAM's website at has some interesting content, most notably the full text of its 'icamprint' journal; details of its regular conferences; and listings of architecture museums worldwide.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Churches in the modern world

A current exhibition ( at the Lighthouse in Glasgow presents case study buildings which illustrate how some post-war church architects and their clients in the UK moved away from tradition and conservatism to modernity. It explores the wider context of religious, social and urban change, and is one of the outcomes of an Arts and Humanities Research Council supported project led by Dr Robert Proctor of the Mackintosh School of Architecture. On 26 September at 6pm there will be a seminar at the Lighthouse with three speakers, including Bob Proctor, Dominic Wilson talking about F X Velarde, and Diane Watters on Scottish church architecture.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Glasgow's George Square to get makeover

A design competition is to be held later this year for Glasgow's George Square, which will receive a £15m revamp to create a new day and night public space that supports creativity. The BBC's story at provides an interesting reminder that the Square began life as a garden with trees, lawns and fences. Take a look at the books on public space in GSA Library at shelfmark 711.55 if you fancy entering the competition and are looking for ideas!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Glasgow Doors Open Day 2012

Doors Open, Glasgow's annual festival to celebrate its built heritage, takes place this weekend on Saturday and Sunday 15 & 16 September. More than 100 buildings, 41 walks, plus tours and talks are freely available, and the festival represents a marvellous opportunity for new students to explore the city and begin to familiarise themselves with it. More information is available on the Glasgow Building Preservation Society's website at

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oral histories of theatre design

The British Library's massive oral history website, 'Sounds', includes some interesting recordings of architects and others involved in theatre design discussing their experiences and work. Architects featured include Peter Moro, Denys Lasdun, Jane Drew, and Paul Rudolph. To locate these recordings, go to the British Library Sounds website at then type 'Theatre Design' in the search box, and use the drop-down category 'Arts, Literature and Performance'.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Glasgow 'Smell Map'

Edinburgh-based designer Kate McLean has created a most unusual map of the city that portrays its scents, rather than its street pattern. Glasgow joins a number of cities around the world that Kate has 'mapped' in this way; for her and the residents and visitors she has interviewed, Glasgow 'smells of diesel, wet moss and Lorne sausage'. There's a tantalising glimpse of the Glasgow map on Kate's website, but the full thing can be viewed at the Glasgow Science Centre until September 16th.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Maggie's Glasgow night hike

The network of Maggie's cancer centres has organised a 10-mile night-time fundraising walk around Glasgow on Friday 7 September. During the course of the walk, participants will have exclusive out of hours access to some of the city's best-known structures. This year's route starts at the Riverside Museum, passes along Clydeside to the Lighthouse, then on to the Glasgow Art Club and via the Kibble Palace to finish at Maggie's Glasgow Gartnavel. Further information is available from the Maggie's website.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Merchant City Festival 2012

Glasgow's 11th four-day Merchant City Festival kicks off today with a wide range of performances and events throughout this historic quarter. The Merchant City Initiative website has a link to several interesting new online leaflets on the area's history and its public art. In addition, and as part of the Merchant City public art programme, author Louise Welsh and Jude Barber of Collective Architecture have collaborated on an audio trail which uses a series of soundscapes to explore Glasgow’s involvement in the tobacco and sugar industries, and contemporary responses to the the transatlantic slave trade.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Close encounters - of the Thomas Annan kind

The recently refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery has an excellent small exhibition of the work of pioneering Victorian photographer Thomas Annan. In 1866, Glasgow's City Improvement Trust set about planning major improvements to the city. They commissioned Annan to document what was going to be demolished, and the result was the first photographic record ever made of slum housing and a fascinating and haunting series of photographs of closes, wynds and vennels in its own right. The images are set against a large scale map of the city which graphically illustrates the density of the housing which was swept away.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Bexhill Job

I'm recently back from a visit to the south of England which included the usual pilgrimage to one of my favourite buildings, the Mendelsohn and Chermayeff De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. Until 1 October, artist Richard Wilson has a wonderful life-size installation on the roof, inspired by the final scene of a well-known film starring Michael Caine. Thanks to Elaine for the picture; more info. on the installation is at

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Building Information Management

The Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) has produced a useful free online briefing on the hot topic of Building Information Management (BIM). It explains what BIM is, how it has evolved and
where it is going. It sets out the benefits to each member of the construction team, identifies the obstacles to
adoption and considers some of the practical aspects of usage.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New cardboard architecture e-book

'Cardboard in architecture: research in architectural engineering' is a new e-book now available to GSA staff and students which provides much-needed technical information on using this highly sustainable material in an architectural context. Topics covered include paper felting, the building of a cardboard pavilion and house, structural engineering in paper and cardboard, cardboard partitioning, the mechanical behaviour of cardboard in construction, and the cardboard dome.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Britain from Above

More than 16,000 images from one of the earliest and most significant collections of aerial photography of the UK have now been made freely accessible online. Launched by English Heritage and the Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Wales, the Britain from Above website features some of the oldest and most valuable images of the Aerofilms Collection, a unique and important archive of over 1 million aerial photographs taken between 1919 and 2006.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Getty Research Portal

The Getty Trust has created a free online search platform providing global access to fundamental and rare digitised art and architecture history texts which are in the public domain. It has been designed to give one-stop access to entire texts which have been digitised according to international standards, and even allows for the export of references and bibliographies into citation management tools.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Post-War Glasgow Buildings

The style and variety of Glasgow’s architecture in the decades after the Second World War is celebrated in a new book. The free book, Glasgow’s Post-war Listed Buildings, is a partnership between the city council and Historic Scotland and Glasgow.  There are 38 post-war listed buildings in Glasgow considered of national, regional or local importance.

The first lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest in Glasgow were compiled in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In the 1980s all of its building stock was comprehensively resurveyed and at this time many of the prominent Victorian and Edwardian buildings were added to the lists, along with a handful of outstanding interwar buildings - many of which were begun before the Second World War and not completed until afterward.
Unsurprisingly, it was not possible to recognise the best post-war buildings a mere decade or so after they were first erected, therefore an understanding of them has been built up gradually. In the mid-1990s, with the benefit of growing research into this area of study, post-war buildings have been suggested to Historic Scotland as individual listing proposals, or have been listed following reviews of the work of well-known architects, such as the practice of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, or Sir Basil Spence and more recently as part of the reviews of significant estates such as the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde.
Download this free book

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Architecture, Design & Engineering Drawings

The Architecture, Design, and Engineering category covers about 40,000 drawings (described in more than 3,900 catalog records), spanning 1600 to 1989, with most dating between 1880 and 1940. The designs are primarily for sites and structures in the U.S. (especially Washington, D.C.), as well as Europe and Mexico. American architects and architectural firms created most of the images. Building types range from the United States Capitol and the Library of Congress to private residences and hamburger restaurants.
Works by distinguished figures in the history of architecture, design, and engineering in the United States are well represented including Benjamin Henry Latrobe, William Thornton, Stephen Hallet, Thomas Ustick Walter, Montgomery C. Meigs, Cass Gilbert, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South

Noted architectural photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) created a systematic record of early American buildings and gardens called the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (CSAS). This collection, created primarily in the 1930s, provides more than 7,100 images showing an estimated 1,700 structures and sites in rural and urban areas of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, and to a lesser extent Florida, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
Johnston’s interest in both vernacular and high style structures resulted in vivid portrayals of the exteriors and interiors of houses, mills, and churches as well as mansions, plantations, and outbuildings.
The survey began with a privately funded project to document the Chatham estate and nearby Fredericksburg and Old Falmouth, Virginia, in 1927-29. Johnston then dedicated herself to pursuing a larger project to help preserve historic buildings and inspire interest in American architectural history.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Architecture and Design Scotland’s Materials Library

Explore a range of sustainable materials in Architecture and Design Scotland’s newly launched Materials Library – Material Considerations.
A brand new materials library offering visitors a chance to explore and analyse a wide range of sustainable building materials has been opened by Architecture and Design Scotland on Level 2 of The Lighthouse, Glasgow. The purpose of the library is to showcase sustainable, traditional and emerging low carbon building products in general and to promote and encourage innovation in construction in Scotland using indigenous resources. Supported by the Forestry Commission and the Scottish Government, it will give clients, architects, builders and students an opportunity to get hands on with a wide range of sustainable, traditional and emerging low carbon building materials - from slate through to sheep's wool - while learning more about each material's sustainability credentials.
The free library is now open to the public and is open Monday - Saturday 10:30-17:00 and no appointment is necessary. You can find it on Level 2, The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA)

The TRADA trade association is a long-established centre of excellence on the specification and use of timber and wood products. I was reminded yesterday that even for non-members, a considerable quantity of useful design and detail information is freely available to download from the 'library' part of their website, following a simple registration process.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Melvyn Bragg on ‘De Architectura’

BBC Radio 4’s ‘In our time’ recently featured a 45-minute discussion on Vitruvius’ ‘De Architectura’, the only surviving work on architecture from the ancient world. Melvyn Bragg and guests, including architectural historian Robert Tavernor, offer some fascinating context for the original manuscript, and look at its ‘rediscovery’ during the Renaissance and continuing appeal to architects today.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Award-Winning InfosmART Portfolio Released by Glasgow School of Art Library

The Glasgow School of Art Library’s award-winning InfosmART portfolio is now freely available to the UK’s art and design communities, following Innovation and Development funding from the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC.
InfosmART is the Glasgow School of Art Library’s portfolio of online interactive modules in information and research skills, specifically designed for creative practitioners. It has been produced for the learning, teaching and research communities in art, design and architecture, and helps artists and designers to develop and improve their research capabilities and information handling, at either undergraduate, postgraduate or research levels. It does this through an easy-to-follow 5-step programme: Define, Find, Evaluate, Cite and Use.
In 2010, InfosmART was recognised at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards, where its development team was named Outstanding Library Team of the Year. In 2011, its lead developer was named Information Literacy Practitioner of the Year for his work on the resource.
InfosmART was developed in-house by the Library of Glasgow School of Art. It has now been released for free non-commercial use and adaptation under Creative Commons licensing at

Rehousing the American dream

New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has invited five teams of architects, planners, ecologists, engineers and landscape designers to develop proposals for housing that would open new routes through the mortgage-foreclosure crisis that continues to afflict the suburbs of the US. The results of the teams' ideas for new models of housing, not only of its physical form but of the systems of infrastructure and finance that support it, can be viewed on the MoMA website.