I spent 100 days of those 6 months sketching the city, thanks to the lovely Katherine Geppert, who suggested a group of us try out the Instagram 100 Day Project. Armed with a notebook and pencil I sketched urban scenes from October through to January.
As well as being a good reason to explore the city, practising my sketching was another thing on my to-do list. What I’ve learned from the 100 days is definitely practise, practise, practise. I might compare some sketching in the summer to see how different the urban scenes would be.
After a three year hiatus from this blog it’s probably a good time to start this whole wandering architects endeavour again since Tim, Edie and I have moved to a new city. It’s now been 6 months living in Berlin, most of it feeling homesick for Glasgow where we’ve left some wonderful friends and a three-quarter renovated flat. We’ve also spent the time making this new city our new home; learning a new language and exploring the many wonders this energetic and complex city has to offer. It’s been exploring architecture, history, public transportation, play parks, city parks, cafe culture, bar culture (not so much these days), markets, museums, galleries, and so forth.
6 months and I’ve barely covered any great breadth of this city. I guess starting this blog up again would ensure I made a concerted effort to get my arse out of P-berg and see parts of Berlin I haven’t seen before.
Exhibited at Loop – a celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day
The recognition of 100 significant female architects. How many [female] architects can you name?
E-1027 is a modernist house that sits on the edge of the sea in Roquebrune Cap-Martin, France; completed in 1929, up until recently its design was attributed to Jean Badovici, a contemporary and friend of Le Corbusier. In actual fact the house was predominantly the work of Eileen Gray, his partner at the time. Gray was generally more renown for her furniture design, less known for her contribution to architecture. This is not an isolated incident – female architects often struggle for recognition and commissions within the industry.
Architecture as a profession has been around for centuries however women have only been allowed to practice architecture for less than a century. Following the passing of the 1919 Sex Discrimination Act women were first allowed to become architects. Prior to that women had found it necessary to practice in secret, as was the case with Elizabeth Wilbraham (1632-1705) who may have designed many notable buildings in the seventeenth century but without the records to establish proper attribution for her designs, her name lies in obscurity. Even the Bauhaus design school which was reputed for it’s forward thinking and embracing of modern ideas still would not admit women into it’s architecture school when opened in 1927. The school had defined roles for the “beautiful sex” most female students restricted to the textile crafts, few permitted into sculpture or other areas deemed for the “stronger sex”.
Women are now able to make a name for themselves in architecture these days, and the recognition of their contribution increasing with high profile names such as Zaha Hadid and Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA. However inequalities do exist in the architectural profession today, and it is still regarded as a male dominated profession, with very few women reaching high managerial roles, the glass ceiling within the profession is still a serious concern. Studies have shown the number of women that stay in architecture are relatively low. Women make up 38% of the architectural student population however only 13% of the practicing profession. The long hours and family commitments, and general pressures of a “macho” industry are considered to be reasons for the lack of progression of women architects. This work acknowledges the numerous women and their contribution to the built environment, not satisfied in just taking up the traditional crafts.
D-Day is approaching rapidly, knitting is popping up in all sorts of unexpected places across Glasgow , and indeed the world.
My work – one of the 100 events showcased at Loop at the Tramway on the 8th of March is getting there if a little behind schedule – knitting machines are complex beast and Hermione and I are only just getting to know each other properly 😉
We managed to squeeze in quite a few trips to Edinburgh to catch the festival action this year. A lot of our interest centred on the visual arts, including a visit to the newly opened though somewhat underwhelming Jupiter Artland.
The highlight was a performance by the Royal Ballet of Flanders of Return of Ulysses which was mesmerizing, powerful yet stark. Scottish enfant terrible Michael Clark’s New Work – was suitably mad yet lack coherence and felt forced and overly stylised.
As per usual most fringe acts didn’t seem worth the entry price although Kristen Schaal of Flight of the Conchords fame was quite entertaining!
Our good friend Debbie Andrews had a reading as part of the launch of Volume 1 of the not very imaginatively titled Brown Williams Journal: Triangle. Held at Kibble Palace on a warm evening it was a delightful atmosphere with some good writing and a slightly cheesy band. Overall we were definitly left with impression that writers need to get out more!
Chhay and Claire helped me put the finishing touches on GHA’s entrant into the Scottish Design Award’s uber high profile lego competition. Raising money for the National Autism Society our entry had the distinction of being the only one to (intactly) follw the brief and apparently we scooped the most votes on the nominations night.
Voting is continuing right up unitl the awards presentation however – so cast your votes here!
As far as real entries went GHA made it onto the shortlist for the two categories we entred – small projects for Venice and Practice of the Year.
A couple of quick updates from our recent entrees into Glasgow’s burgeoning art scene.
First up was the opening of the relocated Glasgow Sculpture Studios – in a small but precious new space under a railway arch in the west end. The sculpture on offer was slightly erotic shapes by an artist whose name eludes me that were completely obscured by people while we were there. The noise of passing trains adds a unique aural element to an appreciation of the contents.
On the same night I finally managed to get my first visit to SWG3 otherwise known as the warehouse – a great cavernous psace that hosts art installations bands and related events. The art wasn’t of a great calibre although the beer was a step up in class and we will be back soon – possibly for SWG3 live on the 10th.