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MagMag 34

Part 2 Dissertation 2009
John De Maio
Mackintosh School of Architecture Glasgow UK
For 34 years, Macmag has made accessible the most influential work from the Mackintosh School of Architecture, supplementing it with articles contributed by practicing professionals engaging in the studies of similar methods and architectural systems.
Macmag 34 has attempted to target a much wider demographic. It should no longer be regarded as simply a dissertation, but rather a professional publication highlighting the connections between academia and practice. It touches on concept through to realisation, explorations and comparisons of architectural ideals and methods with the distinct intention of informing the reader on their annual progressions. The articles are carefully selected to continue the strong and inquisitive narratives constructed so intricately by each of the stage projects, and form an intelligible connection between these initial investigations with similar ventures currently underway within the territory of contemporary architecture and design.
This 34th issue of Macmag centres its focus on the concept of holism, the suggestion that all of the characteristics of a system cannot be explained by its constituent components alone, but rather “the whole as more than the sum of its parts.” It is clearly evident in the work showcased that their success is as a result of the employment of this principle, that without a rigorous investigation calling upon the input from multiple disciplines and experiences, the resulting system would not have taken on the life or degree of function that might expected of it.
While each discipline is strong on its own, it is the strength of their unification that forms a truly unique and encompassing experience. This experience is one that balances aesthetics and function, a symbiotic system that does not always take the form of a building, but perhaps a sculpture, an idea, an investigation into the fabric that forms or defines our environment and individual experiences.
In this edition, the editors have composed a rich and varied body of content from over one hundred contributors, students and professionals alike, all with varying methods of approaching those questions we pose on a daily basis that deal with the past, present and future of our constantly expanding industry.

John De Maio

Whilst this piece of group work does not easily fit into the
classification of Dissertation it none the less is a remarkable product
which demonstrates in an unusual format with an unusual content all the
attributes required of an academic dissertation and a heap more. The
heap more is what sets it above the level of just another excellent
piece of written work for this stage in academia.
Behind the production of the magazine lies a very hard nosed business
plan and a major successful campaign to self finance its production. It
has also prepared an archive of files which will be able to be picked up
by the next team to help them produce the next issues.

The contents themselves are extremely well laid out and highly legible.
The graphics fit well with the written material and for once
effortlessly allows the eye to be cast over the contents in a holistic
manner as well as promising rich pickings.

The detail achieved in the reproductions is marvelous and is both a
tribute to the choice of material for publishing as well as a statement
of the level of technical wizardry achievable in printing today.

Overall the piece of work is excellent and deserves to be feted as

Mr Alexander Page
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