In Stage 4 of the Bachelor with Honours / Diploma of Architecture course at the Mac, students are expected to complete a Research Project of their own choosing, which is normally a written piece of 10,000 words. Alternatively, one can choose a Special Project  a detailed drawing / model, the organisation of an exhibition / lecture series, some specific research with the Tutors at School etc – some in groups of students, some individual, the Special projects have to be accompanied by a 5,000 word essay describing the learning process and outcome.

Then finally there’s an option to work on MacMag – an annual student-run publication, currently in its 39th year, that aims to showcase the creative output and the spirit of the Mackintosh School of Architecture. Every year, a new group of 4-6 students is given the responsibility of raising funds, gathering students’ work and conducting interviews with architecture offices, designing the book, negotiating the price with a publisher and getting the MacMag printed, then finally advertising and selling the end-product – in short, a challenging yet extremely interesting task! As I was lucky to have some of my earlier work featured in MacMags 36 and 38, and have thus seen what the previous MacMag teams were doing, I knew I had to do this as my Research Project even before the proper introduction to Stage 4. 

Researching some of the first MacMags from the 1970s

So, finding out that I was chosen Editor alongside my classmates Sofi, Lawrence and Natalie was an exhilarating moment – when we were given keys to the MacMag office, we were literally jumping from excitement! Then, we were faced with the task of setting up a company from scratch – getting a business bank account, buying stationery, designing our identity, setting up a basic admin structure, organising the office – if anything, I can now appreciate how much work actually goes into starting a business. Having to keep up with the intensive Architecture course while doing all this work made the challenge even more exciting. Looking back, I think that we powered though the first steps rather successfully - we have even launched a new MacMag website a few days ago. This decision of being active online, from day one, comes as part of our chosen theme for the MacMag39 this year – we are investigating the relationship between the ‘Old and the New’ in design practice, and feel very strongly that in addition to the physical book that we have been trusted to create, a digital counterpart in form of an online platform is required. It will be interesting to see how the book itself and our online ‘story’ develop until June 2014 when MacMag39 will be launched as part of the Glasgow School of Art Degree Show. 

MacMag39 website preview

Until then, we are working hard to make MacMag39 truly great. I will probably continue talking, writing and tweeting about MacMag non-stop – so after this blog post, some of my friends will hopefully have a vague idea of what it’s all about. If you’re interested, you can find out more on the MacMag39 website itself, or even ‘like’ and ‘follow’ us to stay up to date. And above all, make sure you check out the end result in June. It will be amazing. Cheers!