We were excited to receive Mackintosh School of Architecture’s 36th addition of MacMag – a student publication that catalogues the work of the student body in a way that is as much about the graphical expression as it is about the architectural projects it contains (check out our coverage for the 35th addition of MacMag here). “MacMag 36 is a proud statement of where we are now, as students relating to contemporary and future architecture,” explained the student editors Joe Barton, Marguerita Kyriakidis, Heather MacSween, David O’Reilly and John Robson. The book is divided into 5 different stages – to coincide with the years of study – beginning in Stage One with creative and explorative work and moving through the fifth stage which showcases the architectural growth of the students in more comprehensive works.
Totaling over 100 pages, MacMag 36 documents a wide range of student work and focuses around the concept of relating the study of architecture to the practice of architecture. Graphically, this addition takes inspirations from architectural magazines as its clean and simplistic graphics visually organize the projects yet allow them to not to be constrained within the page.
Stage One includes student explorations on a number of different scales from pieces of furniture to artist’s residents and kindergartens. Interviews with architects help transition to the next stage and we enjoyed reading the interview with Alain de Botton about the UK’s Living Architecture concept of allowing the public to appreciate architecture. We have featured the Living Architecture projects on AD and this interview gives a more indepth look at the process of picking the sites and chosing the architects.
Stage Two shows the progression of development in form, materiality and spatial qualities. The works displayed are as much about the process as about the final results. At the end of Stage Two, a great piece on the Urban Barn collaborative project – which allows students to work with engineers and other architects – highlights the benefits of working with a design team and learning from their guidance and experience.
Projects in Stage Three emphasize practical issues such as sustainability, materiality and construction. Students focus on the relationship between Slow Food and Slow Architecture to create ‘food-centric’ projects that address the architectural definitions of sustainability as well as the social implications.
Stage Four broadens to architecture within the city as students grapple with the idea of verticality in either an urban housing or urban building project. The projects show an understanding of context with a optimistic belief of enhancing urban life while becoming an integrated part of the infrastructure.
The final stage is, in a way, the culmination of the previous stages. The student work shows an aptitude in formalistic approaches, as well as strength on a conceptual level, and a sensitivity on the broader realm of context. As Christopher Alexander explains, “We are searching for some kind of harmony between two intangibles; a form which we have not yet designed and a context which we cannot properly describe.”
We are always excited to see student work, and publications such as MacMag truly capture the essence of the School of Architecture. The publication offers inspiring projects on all levels and we congratulate the student editors on yet another great work.