Thursday, April 17, 2014

Upcoming seminar: Work of mutual interest - Galleries and artists engaging with audiences

Engage are presenting a great new seminar next week at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, in Edinburgh, on the 23rd of April. Places are free but must be booked in advance.

Recent projects such as Collective's All Sided Games, the National Galleries Scotland's The Nation//Live and Tramway's Albert Drive will be the main topics of debate and discussion, along with talks and presentations from the following artists: Anthony Schrag, Arpita Shah, Daniel Warren, Kevin Reid and Martin O’ Connor.

Albert Drive Project, Tramway
Follow this link to find out more about how to book a place on the seminar.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New online resource: The Audio Arts archive

In 1972, artist William Furlong conceived and created the sound art magazine Audio Arts as a cassette-based audio magazine. The magazine ran for 33 years and had 24 volumes in total, each of four issues, alongside more than 60 supplements.

Audio Arts focused on documenting contemporary artists' work by recording their voices, usually done in close proximity to their work. It developed over time to include interviews with artists and curators, artists commenting on their work, documentation of major art events, collaborations between artists, sound performances and other sound works. Total contributions feature more than 900 individual artists including Joseph Beuys, Ian Breakwell, Tracey Emin and Andy Warhol.

The GSA Library used to subscribe to Audio Arts and held the tapes as part of its collection until the medium of the audio cassette became obsolete and was no longer accessible to the library's patrons. We're happy therefore to announce that Tate have now acquired and digitised the entire archive of Audio Arts, making it available to everyone online.

You can access the entire Audio Arts archive here and watch this video of William Furlong to find out more about his reasons for starting the magazine and how it was produced.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

A Video Guide to the Art Crit

Art Crits: 20 Questions have commissioned an Artist's Video (Talking About Talking About: An Introduction to Visual Art Critiques by Giles Bunch) on the theme of the Art Crit. The video tries to answer 4 main questions: the purpose of the art crit, Finding the right approach to the art crit, problems and solutions and tips on reading an artwork and speaking about your work in public.

This video complements the publication Art crits: 20 questions - a pocket guide, also published by Q-Art, as well as a few of their other books on the theme of art education 12 gallerists, 20 questions11 course leaders: 20 questions and 15 methods: 20 questions, all available in the GSA Library collection.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Invasion of the surreal

Augmented reality is the latest hype in technology and Pepsi Max have been paving the way in London for its uses in the world of advertising. Check out the video below with the bemused reactions of people as they wait for a bus in an augmented reality bus shelter. On one side you just see a run of the mill Pepsi Max advert, but on the other you step into a world full of alien invasions, escaped wild animals and so much more...

The GSA's digital culture course currently investigate the use of augmented reality. What reality would you like to see augmented at GSA?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Life Captured in Macro

When I first came across these photos, I thought these were the creations of a fancy new fashion designer, but imagine my surprise when I realised they were the photographs of the wings of butterflies and moths taken by Linden Gledhill at a macroscopic level. You then realise that what looks like solid shapes are more like flurries of small petals creating the wonderful array of colour on these insects' wings.

 Gorgeous Macro Photographs of Butterfly and Moth Wings by Linden Gledhill nature moths macro insects butterflies

Gorgeous Macro Photographs of Butterfly and Moth Wings by Linden Gledhill nature moths macro insects butterflies

Gorgeous Macro Photographs of Butterfly and Moth Wings by Linden Gledhill nature moths macro insects butterflies

Gledhill is becoming well-known for his mastery of this technique and you can find out more about taken macro-photography with this episode of Smarter Everyday and check out this blog post for more of the same photos.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What I Know Is: A Research Symposium on Online Collaborative Knowledge-Building

The GSA Library attended last week a fascinating symposium on the theme of open knowledge and open education at the University of Stirling.

The first strand of the Symposium was on Digital Publishing and Open Access and got started with Ally Crockford, currently Wikimedian-in-Residence at the National Library of Scotland. Ally commented on some of the perceived anxieties about Wikipedia in library environments such as anxieties about the way students are now accessing information via Wikipedia rather than via library collections and anxieties about whether Wikipedia will soon make institutions such as libraries obsolete. Ally argued for exactly the opposite of the perceived anxieties, namely that rather than making libraries obsolete, Wikipedia holds the possibility of driving more traffic back into libraries thanks to its referencing system, but also of driving more traffic towards some of the digital initiatives that libraries are undertaking nowadays. Ally used the example of project specific resources, such as the Duncan Street Explorer or the Scottish Science Hall of fame, which a lot of time and effort has gone into, but which you wouldn't necessarily come across unless you were specifically carrying out research on that topic. Wikipedia on the other hand has a strong factor of incidental traffic which leads itself to discovery, so instead of acting as competition, Wikipedia can instead act as a gateway to these digital projects. If more librarians and other professionals in the Gallery, Museums and Archives sector add references to Wikipedia, then it has the potential of becoming a structure that supports open access to these digital resources and platforms.

In the same strand, Padmini Ray Murray, who teaches at the university of Sterling and has recently become a  Board Trustee for the Wikimedia UK Foundation, then carried the conversation onto ideas linked with Open Access Publishing. Padmini introduced her address in the context of the debate raised by Harvard in 2012 when they chose to denounce the outrageous prices set by academic publishers and instead urged their academic staff to switch to publishing their research through open-access journals. Padmini compared the current academic publishing structure to that outlined in Sorenson Mork Peterson's essay Loser Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation analysing user exploitation trends occurring in Web 2.0. Padmini went on to outline a number of initiatives which have been trying to offer solutions to this issue, such as the Aaron Swartz's wish, leading to tax-funded research becoming freely available and the recent Knowledge Unlatched initiative which seeks to make books freely accessible on a Creative Commons license with the help of libraries around the world. Padmini added that she also saw academics using and contributing to Wikipedia as a stance of political resistance in this context. She sees the act of making academic knowledge and research openly accessible as part of our civic responsibilities, in reference to Tim Berners-Lee's recent call for a digital users' Bill of Rights, which should surely go hand in hand with a bill of responsibilities? In conclusion, Padmini drew our attention to Ben Werdmuller's definition of "Respectful Software", which is something for all of us to aspire to in the world of open access.

In the afternoon, we moved on to a new strand on Networked Communities, Commons and Open Learning. Penny Travlou from the University of Edinburgh, talking about her ethnographic research on networked artist communities and the concept of Co-Creation as a Model of Creativity. Penny made reference to the current maker movement with David Gauntlet's book Making is Connecting and its influence on contemporary art. She then expanded on some examples of open-source, networked art making with movements such as Art is open Source and the Furtherfield community which she explored as part of her ethnographic research. As another example of open-source art project, Penny also drew oour attention to Salvatore Laconesi's project La Cura, which she'd been involved with as a participant. As part of the discussion following the presentation, the point was raised that these collaborative cyber art practices are still not considered part of mainstream art, but rather exist as a marginal element, still awaiting recognition as Claire Bishop describes in her essay The Digital Divide.

The next part of that strand was led by Lorna Campbell, from CETIS, who works with OpenScotland and the UK Open Knowledge Foundation. Lorna began her talk by touching on some of the legacies of the UK OER program and in particular about the yearly OER conferences which continue to take place despite the original OER program having come to an end and are going from strength to strength (the next OER conference will be taking place in Newcastle at the end of April). Lorna pointed out a couple of interesting Scottish examples of OERs with the Napier 3E Framework and the Glasgow Caledonian University Library OER Guidelines, as well as drawing attention to Re:Source, the new resource-sharing platform for the college sector in Scotland, all providing support structures for the further development of new OERs. Some interesting conversations came up during Lorna's talk in relation to MOOCs and the fact that they are free, but not open-source, raising the point of what constitutes open in the context of education.

The conversation ended with a discussion between Toni Sant and Greg Singh on the theme of digital humanities. Toni Sant is currently the head of the Wikimedia UK Education Outreach initiative and teaches at the university of Hull. Practicing what he preaches, Toni hasn't read a student essay since 2010, assessing them instead on their contributions to Wikipedia. He'll be leading the next Annual EduWiki Conference, which will be taking place in Edinburgh either end of October or beginning of November 2014 (dates to be confirmed).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Approaches to Anatomy...

You might have noticed the GSA Library and Archives' display on Anatomy, currently showing on Level 1 of the GSA library...

Well we've been inspired by that display to look up a few ways in which artists have drawn their inspiration from anatomy aside from life drawing, mixed media artist Travis Bedel who creates intricate collages inspired by anatomical drawings and treatises:

Anatomical Collages by Travis Bedel mixed media collage anatomy

Much in the same vein, artist Lisa Nilsson recreates anatomical cross-sections using a quilling technique, which she then displays in wooden cases, reminiscent of what you'd expect a last century surgeon to keep his instruments in:

Anatomical Cross Sections Made with Quilled Paper by Lisa Nilsson quilling paper anatomy

With a more technological approach, Jessica Lloyd-Jones creates fabulous artworks in her collection Anatomical Neon. She describes the 2 works photographed below as follows:

Optic Nerve shows a similar effect, more akin to the blood vessels of the eye and with a front ‘lens’ magnifying the movement and the intensity of light. [...] Electric Lungs is a more technically intricate structure with xenon gas spreading through its passage ways, communicating our human unawareness of the trace gases we inhale in our breathable atmosphere.

Anatomical Neon: Blown Glass Human Organs Containing Neon Lights by Jessica Lloyd Jones sculpture neon light glass anatomy

Anatomical Neon: Blown Glass Human Organs Containing Neon Lights by Jessica Lloyd Jones sculpture neon light glass anatomy

 You can find out more about all these artworks on the Colossal blog.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Library of Lost Books

The Library of Lost Books is a wonderful initiative which was launched at the time of the opening the new Library of Birmingham and is currently touring the country as a travelling exhibition. The concept behind the project is simple yet really amazing, the LoLB curator rescued old, unwanted and unloved books which were being disposed of and saved them from getting pulped then sent them to a wide and varied group of artists who work with books as part of their art practice to repurpose them into beautiful pieces of art.

Find out more about the different artists involved in the project here and read the blog chronicling the various artworks as well as the events surrounding the travelling exhibition.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Brits who built the Modern World

Check out  this TV series currently showing on BBC4 and available on the iPlayer: The Brits who built the Modern World, a series of documentaries investigating architects from the 60s through to the 90s and their various influences on the built environment.

The BBC have teamed up with the Open University to offer a short interactive course Building Stories related to some of the architects as well as some free MOOCs  on the theme of Design, Design Thinking and people-centred designing which anyone can sign up to and work their way in 10 - 28hrs depending on the course. All these OU resources are available here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New e-Book: Play as engagement and communication

We're happy to announce the library has purchased a new e-Book for Art and Design called Play as Engagement and Communication thanks to the suggest for purchase function which features in our catalogue.

As some of you might know, we have populated the catalogue with e-Books which we believe would be of interest to our students. If you come across on of those, you have the option to Preview the book for 5 minutes and if you think it is of interest to your studies, you can Suggest it for Purchase and the librarians will then okay your request. This allows us to make sure that the e-Books we purchase are of relevance to our students and allows you to gets access to a book usually within 24 hrs of making the request.

Play as Engagement and Communication by Eva Nwokah:

This multidisciplinary and varied perspective on play continues the stimulating and informative volumes in the Play and Culture Studies series. The primary focus of the papers in this volume is to reflect on the close relationship between play and the process of engaging and communicating with others in different contexts.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New online Video Tutorials for learning software

Great news! GSA now subscribes to, an online tutorial library, which covers a vast range of softwares and techy information. With these online tutorials, you can teach yourself anything from Rhino to Audacity to Setting up a Raspberry Pi! You can download exercise files and work through each module at your own pace. New courses are added every month so the courses keep up with the latest software updates.

Access to this resource is available off-campus at using your institutional login. Click here to see the full range of subjects covered.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Artists and Archive: Artist Moving Image at the BBC

One to watch out for... The BBC have selected 6 artists to carry out a residency delving into their archives and taking inspiration from them to create new works of art. The artists selected are as follows: Kate Davis, Kathryn Elkin, Luke Fowler, Torsten Lauschmann, Alia Sayed and Stephen Sutcliffe.
It's a truly fantastic cast which reflects well on Glasgow and the talent it attracts as all 6 artists either come from, live and work in Glasgow or studied at the Glasgow School of Art! One of the artists, Kate Davis, currently teaches at the art school!

Artists and Archive: Artist Moving Image at the BBC

The result of these residencies will be six new moving image works to be hosted online at and around the country. We sure can't wait to see what they come up with!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Culture Show: Lego - The Building Blocks of Architecture

If you haven't watched it already, you'll want to watch this week's edition of the culture show on LEGO and its influence on architecture. The show features interviews with architect Bjarke Ingels on his designs for building created in LEGO and with artist Olafur Eliasson on his public art project with the citizens of Tirana in Albania.

Catch it on BBC iPlayer, or make an Off-Air Recording Request, if you think it should be added to the collection.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

New E-Resource available: The Photographic Youth Music & Culture Archive

The GSA Library has just started a new trial of an online image databank called The Photographic Youth Music & Culture Archive. This could be a great visual resource for any student working on a project or essay linked with Youth or Music culture. It features an Interactive Youth Culture Timeline, which helps map out all the cultural trends which have evolved over the years. The collection of images spans from the 40s through to the present day and you can also find links to essays, interviews and relevant webzines.

This trial will last for 1 year, so we urge students to make the most of it as decisions about continuing with this resource will be based on the stats gathered during this trial. You can access the resource directly via the catalogue, or you can find it online at Full access to the resources will be granted via institutional login on the Education page.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Design Fiction as design process...

In their article "Patently untrue: fleshy defibrillators and synchronised baseball are changing the future", Wired Magazine puts forward the concept of using fiction as a tool for design. They define the concept of design fiction as follows: "Design fiction is the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change." This rather complicated definition translates as the purposeful use of fiction narratives to imagine other possible worlds and design items in response. Indeed, if we suspend our disbelief, then design doesn't need to be limited to waht's available or possible in theis world at this point in time, but can instead help create solutions for future times or other places which are still to come in existence and through that lens provide concepts which might also operate today.

Examples of Design Fictions:

Agatha Haines's project, Circumventive Organs, 
is a collection of imagined bioprinted organs, such as this fleshy defibrillator

The Infinite Souvenir, by Bertrand Clerc, which is a 
"speculative product, designed and marketed by the nuclear industry"

What does Martian wine taste like? Carlos Monleon-Gendall aims to 
recreate the geophysical characteristics of the terroir

If this concept catches your interest, read the full article here.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Adventures in Wikipedia: The article grading cheme

I've alluded to this in my last couple of Wikipedia posts, but for students looking at articles in Wikipedia, it's helpful to know that all the articles on Wikipedia are subject to a grading scheme that you can look up on the article's Talk page.

The way the classification works is as follows:

Featured Article: The article has attained featured article status by passing an official review. It is Professional, outstanding, and thorough; a definitive source for encyclopedic information. No further content additions should be necessary unless new information becomes available; further improvements to the prose quality are often possible.

A-Class Article: The article is well organized and essentially complete, having been reviewed by impartial reviewers from this WikiProject or elsewhere. Good article status is not a requirement for A-Class. It is very useful to readers. A fairly complete treatment of the subject. A non-expert in the subject would typically find nothing wanting. Expert knowledge may be needed to tweak the article, and style problems may need solving. Peer review may help.

Good Article: The article has attained good article status by passing an official review. It is useful to nearly all readers, with no obvious problems; approaching (but not equalling) the quality of a professional encyclopedia. Some editing by subject and style experts is helpful; comparison with an existing featured article on a similar topic may highlight areas where content is weak or missing.

Bplus-Class Article: Detailed, clear and accessible, often with history or images; possible good article nominee. It is useful to nearly all readers. A good treatment of the subject, which attempts to be as accessible as possible, with a minimum of jargon. No obvious problems, gaps, excessive information.

-  B-Class Article: The article is mostly complete and without major problems, but requires some further work to reach good article standards. Readers are not left wanting, although the content may not be complete enough to satisfy a serious student or researcher. A few aspects of content and style need to be addressed. Expert knowledge may be needed. The inclusion of supporting materials should also be considered if practical, and the article checked for general compliance with the Manual of Style and related style guidelines.

-  C-Class Article: The article is substantial, but is still missing important content or contains much irrelevant material. The article should have some references to reliable sources, but may still have significant problems or require substantial cleanup. Useful to a casual reader, but would not provide a complete picture for even a moderately detailed study. Considerable editing is needed to close gaps in content and solve clean-up problems.

- Start Article: An article that is developing, but which is quite incomplete and, most notably, lacks adequate reliable sources. It provides some meaningful content, but most readers will need more. Providing references to reliable sources should come first; the article also needs substantial improvement in content and organisation.

- Stub Article: A very basic description of the topic. It provides very little meaningful content; may be little more than a dictionary definition. Any editing or additional material can be helpful. The provision of meaningful content should be a priority.

Finding out an article's classification can be a very helpful way for a student to decide whether the information and most importantly the sources in an article are reliable and could be used in their own research. To find out more details about the classification criterias, follow this link.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

MOOCs in review

MOOCs are all the rage at the moment and causing a lot of debate, so we though that we'd do a little review of the currently available platforms to provide our students with some guidance through this area of rapid growth. For those of you who are just coming across the term for the first time, MOOC stands for Massive Online Open Courses, a term to describe a range of free online courses on a variety of topics that anyone is free to sign up to and study. These studies are usually by correspondence online, with assignments to complete and sometimes verifiable certificates are awarded at the end of a course.


Today, we've decided to take a bit of a closer look at what they have to offer and whether any of them would of interest to our students. We'll start with some of the more established MOOC platforms and work our way down to some of the other alternatives in the world of open learning.

Coursera is an online platform allowing you to search for MOOCs and enlist for them. It's one of the longest running platforms, established since 2012 and seems to have the most established reputation. The courses available on Coursera are provided by reputable universities from around the globe (Yale, L'Ecole Polytechnique, Edinburgh University, et al.). They offer short courses from 5 to 15 weeks with set starting dates and an enrolment process. You can search for courses by category and by the language they're taught in. Some of the courses will offer verified certificates. The following types of courses may be of interest to students: Beauty, Form & Function: An Exploration of SymmetryCreating Site-Specific Dance and Performance Works or Live!: A History of Art for Artists, Animators and Gamers.

Edx is a similar type of platform governed by MIT and Harvard, which started mid 2013. and offers a range of courses from reputable American, Australian and Asian universities. Some of the courses have set enrolment dates, while others can be completed in your own time at your own pace. You can search for courses by school or by category. There are currently no Art and Design or Architecture categories on offer in their portfolio, but some of our design students might be interested in more technical courses such as Building Mobile ExperiencesCircuits and Electronics or Autonomous Mobile Robots in the Computer Science section of the portfolio.

Future Learn is the new British alternative to these American MOOC platforms. It launched in July 2013 and is still in Beta testing mode. The courses on offer are all from reputable British universities and vary in lengths a lot more than the model set by their American counterparts, ranging from 2 to 10 weeks, all with set enrolment dates. As it stands at present, once again, you won't necessarily find specific Art and Design or Architecture courses, but you might choose to follow a course on a more unexpected topic, which could go on to fuel your creative imagination. Courses of interest might be The Discovery of the Higgs bosonThe secret power of brands or Muslims in Britain: changes and challenges. is another relatively newcomer, based in America and offering a range of free online courses provided by universities around the world. It's home page can be confusing to navigate, but if you disregard the top search box and go straight to BROWSE BY CATEGORY below that, you can browse their selection of free online courses by category. Once again, you won't necessarily find specific Art and Design or Architecture courses, but you might be interested in some of their Humanities or Web Design content. Courses of interest might be Reinventing the fairy tale or Drawings & Numbers: Five Centuries of Digital Design.

Udacity is another MOOC platform, however the course content on offer is provided by companies such as Google, AutoDesk, etc with a much more focused emphasis on computer science related topics. The short free courses on offer seem to act as gateways towards longer, fee charging online courses provided by the same companies.

The Khan Academy deviates from the rest of the MOOC model set out above. It's a free instructional resource with over 4,000 video lectures on a huge range of subjects. These online recorded lectures seem to be mostly geared towards American undergraduate students and are available to dip in and out of. The most likely area of interest is probably the section on Art History, with some lectures on more contemporary art and some architecture in the 1907-1960 Age of Global Conflict course as well as the 1960 - Age of Post-Colonialism.

More in the original spirit of open learning, you can also access courses on platforms such as Wikiversity, a strand project from the Wikimedia foundation and P2PU (Peer to Peer University). The aim of these platforms are to encourage individuals to feel empowered to share knowledge without needing the official sanction of a university or formal teaching body. Both platforms are still very much under development and don't currently offer any content in the Art and Design or Architecture departments. Other projects in the same vein though are the Instructables website, where individuals can share instructions on DIY making projects. Of course, the risk in all these more open platforms is that it is a lot harder to verify that the person offering the course content are sufficiently knowledgeable to do so.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Journal Articles available to Listen to Online

For any of our students who maybe struggle with reading long journal articles, even though it would be of great benefit to their research, we're happy to announce that there might be a solution to their troubles. Art and Architecture Complete, our main dedicated Journals database now offers the possibility to listen to journal articles as MP3s. You can choose between an English or American accent and the software highlights the part of the sentence being read as it goes through the text.

This option is only available for articles which offer the HTML Full-Text option, but when doing a search you can limit the number of results to Full-Text only and from there you can easily spot the HMTL Full-Text articles. 
To access Art and Architecture Complete, you must look it up in the GSA Library catalogue and follow the link you'll find on its catalogue entry. If you need any further help on accessing online journal articles, please feel free to come and ask for help at the GSA Librarian's office, on the 2nd floor of the library.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Adventures in Wikipedia: The elusive Talwin Morris

For our second weekly blog post on our Adventures in Wikipedia, this week we'll be looking at Talwin Morris, the subject of one of the GSA Library displays on Level 2, next to the Librarian's office.


Talwin Morris has always been of interest to our Fine Art Librarian Duncan Chappell as the GSA Library holds a large number of his Glasgow Style book bindings in its Special Collections. At the time when he first started looking at the Wikipedia entry it was just a stub with 2 or 3 lines and a broken link, so he decided to take it on as a first project.

The fact that there was so little information in the article sparked off an interesting conversation amongst our group because it's generally assumed that if an article on Wikipedia is just a few lines long, it's not a good article. However, in the case of someone like Talwin Morris and other people from around his time and before then, there's generally a lot less information available in print from the time on their life and their work than what you would expect nowadays. So in the case of someone like Talwin Morris, the person writing the stub article could have researched their subject really well, but have only been able to find a few verifiable facts which they could include in the article leaving it as just a stub. 

That's where the role of librarians and archivists can become really crucial in their contributions to Wikipedia. Thanks to his access to primary source materials and his in-depth knowledge of the subject, Duncan was able to completely rewrite the article, adding vital and hard to find information on Talwin Morris' early life, his career and various commissions he undertook for book-bindings and other decorative arts.

We hope that thanks to this Wikipedia article, other people and maybe even scholars will have access to good reputable sources for any future research into the life and works of Talwin Morris. Duncan will continue to add to the article as new information comes to light through his personal research.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Free Getty books online

The Getty Museum have just released over 250 books online free to view and download as PDFs via Google Books. Find the full list of titles now available

There are a whole range of books including some titles on Drawing and Painting, on Sculpture and on Photography:

Oudry’s Painted Menagerie: Portraits of Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century France

Walker Evans: Florida

Anglo-American Exchange in Postwar Sculpture, 1945–1975

Find the full list of titles now available here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Adventures in Wikipedia: In search of Glasgow Architects

Last term, our Library and Archives team received Wikipedia training from Wikimedia UK volunteer Graeme Arnott and NLS Wikimedian-in-Residence Ally Crockford as part of a new library initiative looking into how Wikipedia could be used as a tool by students in their studies.

This term, we will endeavour to share with you the results of our adventures in Wikipedia and hopefully shed some light on different aspects of the world's largest open-source encyclopaedia. This week, we'd like to share with you our Architecture Librarian David Buri's discoveries, when he started looking into Scottish Architects on Wikipedia:

"Wikipedia’s listing of ‘Scottish architects’ featured 82 names, only 15 of whom had any sort of connection with Glasgow. I based this finding on Gomme and Walker’s book ‘Architecture of Glasgow’, which is a highly respected work. The vast majority of the 82 architects were Edinburgh-based, and only 3 were women.

To redress the geographical balance a bit, I have added the names of 9 further architects associated with Glasgow to the Wikipedia list, all of whom already had Wikipedia pages, and made links to these pages. There are, however, a further 53 names on Gomme and Walker’s list who do not appear on the Wikipedia list of Scottish architects, and who also do not have Wikipedia pages. It would be great to work through these names in the long term, particularly as some nationally-important figures are missing.

My next challenge is to improve the Wikipedia article on one of my favourite Glaswegian architects, James Miller!"

David's discovery made us realise a few unexpected things about Wikipedia. First of all, the fact that these lists like Scottish Architects, Scottish Artists, etc... don't get automatically generated by Wikipedia as you might think, but in fact are written up by people/wikipedians just like the rest of the content of Wikipedia. The implications of that are that lists of that type can often be incomplete, because the person who was writing it chose to only add the names of the people they know about, or were only able to find so many names, or maybe even see this list as a work in progress which they'll keep adding to as new names come up. The second thing it made us realise, is that just because someone's name isn't on the list, doesn't mean they're not featured on Wikipedia, so don't just limit your searches there. Since then, we've also discovered that some of the architects are listed under their architecture firms instead of having their own entry, so it's important to widen your search parameters.

David has now expanded the start article for James Miller, which will soon be reclassified to a higher grading (more on article gradings in a future blog post). We'll also be giving students attending Robyne Calvert's Inside Out: Glasgow Architecture Term 2 FoCI elective the opportunity to upload information they find on some of Glasgow's missing architects up on Wikipedia.

Keep following this blog for more information on our Wikipedia adventures!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Building with Light: the Legacy of Robert Elwall – An International Symposium on Architectural Photography

The Royal Institute of British Architects has announced an international symposium on architectural photographyto coincide with the retrospective of the British architectural photographer Edwin Smith (1912-1971), whose extensive body of work has helped redefine the notion of post WW II British Architecture.

Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire, 1959 The Nave Vault by Edwin Smith (1912- )

The symposium will seek to honour the legacy of Robert Elwall (1953-2012), acclaimed historian of architectural photography and curator of the RIBA's Photographs Collection that now bears his name. The Robert Elwall Photographs Collection is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in the study of the influence of photography on architecture and the creative process.

The symposium will be held 13 -14 November 2014 in London.

Keep an eye out for more details and a call for paper, which will be posted on in the spring.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Mackintosh Library

As some of you may know, we re-opened the Mackintosh Library last week to all GSA staff and students. The first week was a great success, with students coming in to draw the space, take inspiration from Mackintosh's designs and browse some of the books in the collection.

One of the questions that kept coming up though is what's actually in the collection of the Mackintosh Library? And the answer is lots of amazing books that really need to see the light of day more often!

The Mackintosh Library houses some of our reference collection of older and rarer Special Collections books, along with our pre-1985 journals. It also houses publications on and by the School's staff and students, both past and present, and you've produced an exhibition catalogue as part of your course at GSA, you may well find it in there. Rare and archival items, including periodicals dating back to the early 19th century and publications about Charles Rennie Mackintosh are also housed here.

4th Years may be interested to come along and look at our collection of degree show catalogues, kept on the shelves in order of subject matter. Please contact our Trainee Librarian Delphine Dallison at if a group of you wish to arrange to come and view them.

Here's a few examples of items you might find:

Every copy of MacMag which has been published since the start of the magazine in 1974

The complete collection of Vogue Magazine from 1945 to 1985

June 1931 - April 1939 copies of Needlewoman 
(most issues include transfer pattern supplements)

1930 - 1982 copies of the National Geographic Magazine

1893 - 1963 copies of the Studio, a major influence on the development of the 
Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements in Europe

A full size collection of reproduction posters from the 1900s

Other great journals and books such as the Architectural Review, 
the Grammar of Ornaments and Camera Work

All of these publication are featured in the GSA Library catalogue should you wish to look them up for further information. Please feel free to drop by and ask the duty librarian more about the collection during open hours on Wednesdays 2pm - 4pm or contact us by email at with any of your questions.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

More than just a shoe?

Follow this link for an example of how designing shoes can be used as a device for telling a story. Designer Sebastian Errazuriz has created an entire collection of sculptural footwear inspired by previous relationships...

"Jet-setter" Jessica

"Gold Digger" Alison

"The Boss" Rachel

"The Rock" Alice