Archive for the 'Architecture' Category

Facing up to Mackintosh

At 9pm on Tuesday, BBC Two broadcasts ‘Facing up to Mackintosh’. This is a BBC documentary about the new building and its place on the campus. It was made by a team of filmmakers, led by Louise Lockwood, and including GSA vis-com-des-people Walter Hamilton and Lu Sisi. It also features a brief cameo for Edwin’s hands in a stunt letterpress set-up, and doesn’t feature a lengthy and probably quite boring interview Ed and I did, which now resides on the cutting room floor.

It’s sunny in Dundee mostly


Tentsmuir WW2 Coastal Defences

In the spirit of inter-institutional caring and sharing:


Preview: Thursday 27th March 7pm
Exhibition Open: Friday 28th March 12 – 4pm, Saturday 29th March 12 – 4pm

The White Room project space, Tin Roof Studios. 38-40 Bellfield Street
Dundee DD1 5JD

Presenting an exhibition of work created by 3rd year Illustration Students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Come along to our show! It consists of hand printed posters and set designs for a series of imagined theatrical adaptations of plays exploring climate change, sustainability, urban planning and related social and political issues.

Exploring subjects such as:
Hydro Fracking, Gentrification, Micro-topias, Climate Activism, Nuclear waste disposal, Nuclear War, Social Housing, The melting ice caps, Surveillance, Community Gardening.

For more information please visit:

Rachel Thomas + Ross Sinclair

Rachel Thomas + Ross Sinclair – A Feral Studio

Rachel Thomas + Ross Sinclair – A Feral Studio:

Feral Studio returns, with Rachel Thomas and Ross Sinclair, featuring talks from two artists and designers, both working with space, scenes and ‘set’. Rachel uses bold, simple visual archetypes and signs but is interested in “the mental craft of thinking something out and creating a puzzle” through her visuals. Ross is a prominent artist who loves Real Life.

Feral Studio events are open to all GSA students, plus fully open to members of the public and the design community in Glasgow and beyond. The workshop attached to this event (20 + 21st Jan) will open for sign-up at 10am on Mon 13th Jan, via the VLE.

Doors open at 6pm, for a 6.30pm-ish start.

Venue: Due to the campus developments at GSA the venue for this talk is currently ‘in flux’ – we will confirm the venue within a couple of days, and post it to this eventbrite page. It will be Glasgow city centre, one way or the other.

Image: Rachel Thomas / Behind the Scenes

“…Creates a Parallel World, the World in Which it is True.”

Glasgow School of Art, design building on Vimeo. Quick 1-week investigative project for students returning to a new building.

N.B. Casually gazing into a void the other day, thoughts turned to Jonathan Meades Getting High on Ralph Erskines ‘The Ark‘, Hammersmith. Watch the full programme on MeadesShrine.


One of my favourite journals – Open! – which recently ceased in its print form due to funding cuts by the Dutch government, has only gone and reimagined itself in amazing website form.

Entropy! Entropy! They’ve all got it, Entropy!

Having enjoyed the last disjointed and dissociative blog-post so much, we thought we’d embark on another post rounding up links that might be of use in the current crop of graphics projects:

We start with this Beyond Entropy Publication. I’ve a copy, which I’ll bring in on Friday. The reason I have a copy is that it has ‘beyond’ in the title, and I buy any books that are about being beyond something. From there we move to entropy and communication, and the thought that the following films might be interesting:

Subsequently, we jump, via ambiguous symbols, to the typography topography project. The following film by Jonathan Meades asks many pertinent questions about the issues involved in this project – about money, class, ‘regeneration’, the languages of design – and it is all delivered in such a delicious style.

The clip above mentions the Islington Square development in Manchester, by FAT. From a ‘visual-language’ point of view, this is fascinating. In a style that is self-proclaimed as ‘radical post-modernism‘, questions of a dominant style, pluralistic narrative, the vernacular, the local and global are all mixed up*, with intriguing results.

Taste is indeed an interesting issue.

And to make one final leap, an interview with Morton Feldman:

*Clumsy description of post-modernism, radical or otherwise.

Issue 1: Beijing

Concrete Flux 流泥 is a multi-media, multi-disciplinary online journal, (edited by Solveig Suess, Vis-com-des person), which takes as its subject matter China’s hyper-fast emerging urban spaces, their meaning and one’s everyday experiences of them. They believe that a new configuration of space through urbanisation will lead to a new configuration of society. Their aim, then, is to contribute to some understanding of or gain insight into what these spaces, which seem to emerge faster than our minds can log and assess, may mean. Issue 1: Beijing is now live.

Modernism in Scotland

If you’re interested in Scotland’s modernist legacy, this exhibition might be worth a visit.

Situation Room

From the comments; “…the benefit of living in an urban environment are the social discrepant events that propel society forward – these “collisions” between disparate power structures and groups that shape our cultures and social innovations – this proposal effectively wants to eradicate this necessarily messy conflict and “negate authorship” – which is extremely alarming – because then it becomes impossible to pinpoint who is really behind the green curtain.”

via Whos Your Data? Urban Design in the New Soft City: Places: Design Observer.

Re-Brand hype

POW if you don’t know about me

POW better ask someone quickly

’cause POW!

(Re)Start the Week

The week has already started, but that doesn’t exclude you from listening to Start the Week: on the RCA, and Art and Design education in general. Contains some nonsense, some important insights, and some nostalgic whimsy.

Modern, but not recent, Architecture

Following on from our architecture discussion the other day, thought this 90 second round-up of some modern architecture of note by students at Strathclyde might be of interest (including the now departed Newbery Tower):

A Feral Studio: Additional Information


Image: Emlyn Firth

Thanks to Nick, Lizzie, Floris and Malcolm (pictured, as drone) for a fantastic series of talks last night, and a great workshop – If you have research material you gathered, please do upload it to the tumblr.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the emergent architectural forms of Google Dominion, you can read one of Momus’s blog posts about it here. I can also recommend reading up on Heterofascist Park if you want to know which young Scottish architects are going to be forging a new nation in the event of Independence happening.

Thanks too, to Seb and Sophie for the lovely new Feral Studio website.

via #AFS03 – A Feral Studio.

Slide Shows

Slide Shows is an interesting idea, and delightfully quiet. I’m interested in the thing that Stuart Bailey touched on in his talk earlier this year, about the relationship between performance and practise, and think there’s something interesting happening in terms of how we present work/ourselves, and our design personas (and our ideas of ‘activity’ and ‘productiveness’). These slideshows certainly seem to me to embody some ideas of ‘hybrid’ forms, and what technology might allow/provoke.

Beyond Interesting

I can’t remember if I’ve previously flagged up the brilliant things magazine. It is beyond the usual internet interesting.

Failed Report

“Field Studies is a four-day summer-school led by three acclaimed sound artists and composers. It explores the possibilities of engaging with places through listening, and working with recorded sound as a creative and practical tool in the context of architecture, the city and art practice.”

The course was organised by Musarc and led by Joseph Kohlmaier who edited Human Space by O.F. Bollnow on Hyphen Press. Three workshops were tutored by artist Brandon Labelle, field recordist Lee Patterson and artist Davide Tidoni. There were also talks from John Dack on Pierre Schaeffer and musique concrète, Soundfjord‘s co-founder Helen Frosi and sound artist Christina Kubisch.

Clockwise from top left, reconstructed overheard conversations, fishing for sounds using DIY hydrophone and the shoe-less Davide Tidoni discusses exploring space with radio static.

I didn’t manage to get the obligatory photo of artists/designers on laptops around trestle tables, it did happen though!

In Christina Kubisch’s talk, she showed films of her electromagnetic induction headphones in action. They pick up electromagnetic fields from electrical devices and convert them into sound using something like this. Reminded me of the sunglasses scene from They Live.

Dear VisComDes blog….

Summer is usually a good time to sort out and update bits and pieces on the VisComDes blog, but for some reason that has evaded me this year, along with the long list of interesting ‘things’ off the ‘internet’ that I’ve been meaning to post for a while. This neglect will have to last a bit longer, as I’m working on a project alongside the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Continuing this deft piece of double-action excuse-making and self promotional bullshit, the URL is Travelling, Out With Moving if you want to follow it, the twitter name is @TOMveni.

Once that’s done, the VisComDes blog will receive a lot more attention. Watch out for news of upcoming talks, workshops etc, and a reminder of what the first day back of term is, once I’ve figured it out.

More Mentions

Good mention for vis-com-des person Solveig Suess, secretly doing a DipArch apparently, in Blueprint Magazine. (Scroll down)

Vis Com 12 Degree Show

Vis Com 12 is the website of this years graduating 4th year students. And representing as it does, a fantastically diverse body of works, has the most tags of any post on the vis-com blog ever.

Perspectives on the City

News that a group of urban explorers had broken in to and climbed the as-yet unfinished ‘Shard’ in London, got me thinking back to an amazing thread of articles on BldgBlog about explorers of urban tunnels. Finding new perspectives on the city creates some interesting opportunities to push at the definition of what is or isn’t public space, and how our cities are planned, built and run, (and who owns the view). It also raised the question of space vs population, and what if we need to start building down, as well as up?

There’s a further article here, called What it’s like to (illegally) climb London’s tallest building, and John Thackara uses this unusual perspective on urban living as a route in to looking at the bigger picture here.