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John McKean

John McKean

Recent activity

Comments (27)

  • Comment on: Dark-itecture by Sophia Bannert

    John McKean's comment 22-Nov-2014 11:37 am

    Interesting musings on the blacked-out experience which, with your Pallasmaa and Eagleman quotes, feed much thought. But it immediately led me back to a very different musing - the haptic horrors in Jay Rayner's experience of the same place (The Guardian 26 May 2006); an intriguing comparison.

  • Comment on: Crafting architecture by Toby Lewis

    John McKean's comment 22-Nov-2014 9:16 am

    That's a lovely, timeless essay, Toby. Thank you. (PS it might be even quieter if the e e cummings hadn't started with a Capital letter)

  • Comment on: Scottish architects favour independence in 60–40 split

    John McKean's comment 11-Sep-2014 11:30 am

    I read the comments, often interesting, occasionally insightful, from within the architectural profession about Scottish independence. I smile wryly when I see them too often boil down to the polarity dominating all comment trails after thoughtful pieces, from The Guardian to Open Democracy: the risky energies released by liberty and self-government versus the security of holding wealthy big brother’s hand. But surely no-one, in the end, whichever way you vote, is voting primarily for a more favourable professional context for yourself? Any socially responsible architect should read Adam Ramsey’s 42 Reasons to Support Scottish Independence (download it for less than two quid). Argue and disagree if you will, but address the real issues before you decide. Similarly Anthony Barnett’s thank you letter to Scotland published yesterday ( And then, as we are architects as well as citizens, pay a visit to the Miralles inspired horseshoe and the Barry-Pugin stand-off pews, two sword-lengths apart. See how (un)welcome you are made, talk to the ushers, watch the other visitors, note how close or distant you are from the debate. The one at every turn, from architectural detail to official behavior, impresses its intimidation; the other welcomes and invites. In which culture would you rather be governed?

  • Comment on: Tell us what independence would really mean for Scottish architects

    John McKean's comment 29-Aug-2014 12:56 pm

    There is no better case for voting YES than that it might end once and for all the patronising and insidious tone in pieces like this with its no doubt no doubt sincere prejudices. Journalists like Hurst are all honourable men, no doubt. The pontificating that Malcom Fraser will not win many friends is as valuable and sincere a thought as the honourable belief that a campaign can be judged by any random post attached by reader. The sincere and honourable husband is left sitting on the bed scratching his wise and knowing head as the wife finishes packing her case. Yes, I can and I am leaving you, he hears as his unbelief looks at the shutting door.

  • Comment on: Architects urge Strathclyde to loan empty studios to GSA

    John McKean's comment 13-Jun-2014 6:19 pm

    It's a brilliant idea which Strathclyde should have thought of first. Having enjoyed being a student in both buildings, I am charmed to see your joint elevation drawing of Freddy Feilden's next to Toshie's. (I'm just really pleased that in your set of period photos, you didn't use the Henk Snoek one which had me in it!)

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