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.