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Yasmin Ali

Urbanism // Design

RIAS Convention 2011: Practice and Pedagogy

June 8th, 2011



Main Plenary Session  - Friday 13th May 2011

This year, RIAS met in Glasgow to discuss an architect's education at the fore of its agenda. This was debated, framed as a enquiry into 'Practice and Pedagogy'.

The main session was held on 13th May at Glasgow's iMAX theatre, and comprised a series of talks from academics from across Scotland in the morning speeches. These were complemented by perspectives from practioners from home and abroad. Highlights included eminent urbanist Jan Gehl's lively presentation on the value of people-led urban design and French academic and architect, Professor Nathalie Kagan, also a RIAS 2011 Award Winner.

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AoU announces Awards Shortlist 2012

May 19th, 2011


The Urbanism Awards 2012 Shortlist announced

Voting for the nominees closed earlier this month. At the Annual Congress Dinner, held at The Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow last Thursday, the following contenders for The Academy of Urbanism Annual Awards were announced as having made the shortlist for Great Places 2012:
The European City of The Year:
Gothenburg, Sweden
Lisbon, Portugal
Oslo, Norway
The Great Town Award:
Burt St Edmunds, England
Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Totnes, England
The Great Neighbourhood Award:
Accordia, Cambridge
Borough/Bankside, London
Old Town/Harbour, Margate
The Great Street Award:
Byres Rd, Glasgow
Cockburn St, Edinburgh
Steep Hill, Lincoln
The Great Place Award:
Gillett Square, London
Queen Square, Bristol
Victoria Quarter, Leeds
Read on for more details on judging and nominations.

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Crumpled City Maps by Emanuele Pizzolorusso for Palomar

May 17th, 2011

Reviews / Mapping / Travel

Italian designer Emanuele Pizzolorusso for Palomar has come up with an innovative new map product that displays fresh 'out-of-the-box' thinking.  Trademarked as 'Crumpled City Maps' - the range  refreshingly does, well, exactly-what-it-says-on-the-tin, so to speak.

The maps are printed on a special textile which is weatherproof, smudgeproof and light. As a designer,  I'm also a fan of the clear, simple iconography and clean graphic design employed in the overall look of the product. Too often maps become overcrowded and muddled with over-designed typography and complicating coding - this map is the antidote to unneccessary complexity. It won't replace an OS map for a field expedition, but it serves its purpose well as an informative, accessible and durable travel map that rips up the rulebook on conventional -tearable- street maps.

Read on for product specifications, and cities available in the range.

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AoU Congress - Day Talks, Thursday 12th May

May 17th, 2011

Last Thursday formed the main day of talks for the sixth Annual Congress of The Academy of Urbanism, held at the Lighthouse in Glasgow.

The initial morning session focused on Glasgow's City Narrative - tracing its Strategic Vision given by GCC's Executive Director Gerry Gormal, to the national perspective from The Scottish Government's Chief Planner Jim McKinnon, and rounding off with a community perspective given by social entrepreneur Lord Andrew Mawson.



The morning session resumed after a short recess to focus on the sub-theme of Neighbourhood Stories, chaired by Professor Brian Evans of the Mackintosh School of Architecture, who introduced the four speakers, each with a unique and informed perspective on urban regeneration, as enacted at the neighbourhood scale. With the overarching theme of Congress as 'Liveable Neighbourhoods', talks centred on different aspects of improved quality of life. Liz Davidson, Project Director of the Merchant City Townscape Heritage Initiative, gave a lively illustrated talk on the regeneration efforts of the Merchant City area, including public realm improvements, community engagement and action, dealing with crime and attracting creatives to the area, all of which have vastly improved the area for residents and visitors. Carol Tannahill, Director of The Glasgow Centre of Population and Health (GCPH), gave an informed lecture on the findings of the GoWell Study, linking health and mortality indicators to a need for social reform led by urban regeneration.

Chief Executive of  Clyde Gateway explaned the role of the Urban Regeneration Corporation in leading development for The Commonwealth Games 2014, and its positive effects - both planned and in motion - for Glasgow East neighbourhoods within the catchment. Arie Voorburg of Arcadi gave a Dutch perspective on particular aspects of financing social renewal, speaking earnestly of the dangers of 'social apartheid' sometimes self-imposed on neighbourhoods, caused by development stagnation and poor living conditions calling for innovative mechanisms for reform.

Read on for the afternoon events...

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Preview: British Art Show 7 // Glasgow: 27th May - 21st Aug

May 16th, 2011

The British Art Show is billed as the UK's 'most influential and ambitious exhibition of contemporary art'. Scottish and Scottish-based artists featured in the BAS7 exhibition include Karla Black who will represent Scotland at the 2011 Venice Art Biennale.

Curated by Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton, the show now in its seventh edition, takes as its subtitled theme the emblem of a comet as a motif of change, with connotations of discovery and wonder. Of the show, Curators Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton said:

'The exhibition seeks to reinvent, reinvigorate and constantly question itself as it travels across the country. We are delighted to present the exhibition in Glasgow, a city whose artists and institutions are of central importance to contemporary art in the UK'.

The show tours cities across the UK, joining Glasgow from its previous leg in London and Nottingham prior to that, and going on to its final showing this tour in Plymouth later in the autumn.  It is the first time Glasgow has hosted The British Art Show since the glory days of City of Culture in 1990.

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