We are delighted that the Library’s collection of MacMag is forming part of a unique exhibition at The Lighthouse that marks issue number 40 of the student-led publication by students from the Mackintosh School of Architecture. Running between now and 7th August, the exhibition in The Mackintosh Interpretation Centre at The Lighthouse shows all issues of MacMag impressively wall-mounted behind acrylic.
First published in 1974, the exclusively student-edited MacMag has been chronicling the personalities, exploits and ideologies that have, over the past four decades, fashioned the Mackintosh School of Architecture. The critical voice of the School is captured in every issue by an appointed group of student editors who, each year, successfully manage the feat of creating a publication from scratch. Format and graphics vary across the back catalogue, with the earliest issues created using the basic production techniques available before subsequent broadsheet, square and A4 formats were adopted. Mark Baines, Lecturer in the School of Architecture, wrote a piece for MacMag22 that provides an insight into the early history and production techniques of the magazine. The essay documents MacMag’s development from the very first issue (a modest sixteen pages in length and priced at 10p) through its varied iterations – including the omission of ominous issue number 13 – to the polished, international publications in which tradition MacMag40 follows. It also reflects on the achievement of featured interviews with early associates of the School including interviews with Professors Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein and the transcripts of recorded lectures with Herman Hertzberger, Kisho Kurokawa and Alison Smithson among others. Recent additions to the Library were even a feature in the first two issues!
Revisiting MacMag as part of the preparation for the exhibition has been a fresh reminder of the ambition and energy of its student editors and the persistence of its objectives in candidly documenting the extraordinary work produced by the Mackintosh School of Architecture. The Library looks forward every year to poring over the annual publication, each one of which is catalogued and added to our reserve holdings. Following last year’s fire, all of the MacMags on display at The Lighthouse are acquired donations which will re-enter the Library to be made available to staff, students, researchers and future editors committed to ensuring its continuing publication.
For more information on the 40th edition, visit the MacMag40 website.