Rory Olcayto's assessment of the Glasgow problematic is highly controversial and has been doing the rounds and garnering much critical attention. The straight-talking, complacency-busting analysis and vision for a metropolitan city cannot possibly please everyone, and that, it seems, is precisely the partisan, feather-ruffling intention of the former Architects Journal editor. It was, indeed, first delivered as a talk to the Royal incorporation of Architects in Scotland. Here it is now as a readily accessible text: a provocation to civic and urban action.
In all campaigns and struggles with authorities it is important that the process is documented and made accessible so that lessons can be learned. This is no mere footnote to the struggle of the Wyndford Residents Union to save their homes from the wrecking ball. They commissioned Fraser/Livingstone Architects to produce a Report on the condition of the estate to respond to those reports produced by the authorities. We're delighted to reproduce that Report here with an introduction/preface by Malcolm Fraser.
'Things in process ... objects out of place and time.' Frances Lightbound's exhibition Tectonics at the John David Mooney Foundation in Chicago, reconfigures and re-enacts the languages of architectonics and manages to refuse the colonial configurations of power and brute strength in structural materials and components. Pia Singh reviews and finds a striking refinement in these rare and enigmatic arrangements.
What is going on in Wyndford ? Barnabas Calder (in his book reviewed by Florian Urban in The Drouth August 21) tells us that Architecture, and especially the production of its materials, steel and cement, is the worst of climate change culprits, yet in Glasgow a whole estate is about to be pulled down and rebuilt. We are supposed to be on the brink of some massive changes in our way of living -but not just yet! Kelly Rappleye has organised an event which might enshrine Wyndford not so much as a cause célèbre as a cause désastre.
The hutters at Carbeth dwell in the forest -when they can get there. They have a history: it's a green one and a working class one; it's one of urban folk in the countryside, and they're prepared to fight for it. Greg Thomas speaks to a couple who make and remake their stand in the forest.
Is 'dwelling' always an invasion of some type? In the stoical approach, which is the inescapable ethos of our contemporary of the ecological and the sustainable, it seems so, yes. Here, in appropriately ossianic mode for these end-of-times, a paratactical Murdo Macdonald muses on the hybrid in Chicago.
A meditation on those places where you can learn to see things and make things, and mess around with materials and forms and colours, usually for no particular purpose other than what Murdo Macdonald calls here a 'true education'. What will come of it, what has become of it?
A new book 'Glasgow Cool of Art: 13 books of fire at the Mackintosh Library' takes a personal, artistic, intellectual and critical view of the two fires in Mackintosh's masterwork. It attempts to square the trauma that the fires caused by looking at the effect on a wide range of people -adults, children, citizens, academics, artists, architects, and as Murdo Macdonald notes in review, addresses the challenge of the international worth or otherwise of that great building.
Form follows Fuel -or is it, Form follows Food? -Or both? In advance of COP26 -and our own specially timed 'Climate' issue in November, Florian Urban assesses Barnabas Calder's new book. Its exposé of Architecture - and especially the production of its materials, steel and cement - as the worst of climate-change culprits is interesting, to say the least, in the light of Calder's published panegyrics on Brutalism...