Who took part?

  • Members of the Glasgow Airport Aviation Enthusiasts Club
  • Members of the BAA Retirees Club
  • Members of the Rolls Royce Heritage Club

What building did we look at?

Glasgow Airport

Final product

Travel magazine, written by participants

Article written by former BAA employee as part of the Glasgow Airport workshopArticle written by former security guard at Glasgow Airport as part of the workshop

Pages from the travel magazine created as part of the Glasgow Airport workshop


We invited those taking part to investigate archive material relating to the airport and to share their memories, looking at the ways in which the building has changed over its 40-year history. The many anecdotes, stories and reminiscences that this generated were then translated by a graphic designer into an in-flight travel magazine which Glasgow Airport used as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations in 2006. Stories and articles, written entirely by the participants themselves, tell an intimate, engaging and lively picture of Glasgow Airport over the years.

"I found it fascinating to learn about people's experiences and memories of different parts of the airport"

(member of the BAA Retirees Club)

Learning aims

The travel magazine front cover created as part of the Glasgow Airport workshop
  • To create a high quality pamphlet examining the social and design history of Glasgow Airport
  • To develop a further understanding of how to interpret and use architectural plans and archive material in an engaging and interactive way.
  • To give participants the chance to engage with the planning and design process with a professional graphic designer
  • For participants to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of Spence and his work at Glasgow Airport

Learning outcomes

  • Practical beginners' understanding of graphic design process, including editing and image selection.
  • Greater confidence in wriiten and communication skills
  • Greater awareness and appreciation of their former place of work.


1. Exploring archive material relating to Glasgow Airport

As a group, participants explored the archive material relating to Glasgow Airport with the assistance of an RCAHMS staff member.

Questions the group considered when examining the archive material:

  • Glasgow Airport has undergone extensive redevelopment. What changes and additions have been made to Spence's original design?
  • What were the most important parts of the airport for the participants when they worked there? Are these places still there now?
  • What is the most striking feature of Spence's designs for the airport?
  • How did the airport used to function as a social space when it was first opened? How has the concept of air travel changed over time?
  • What personal memories do participants have of time spent at the airport?

Looking at archive material allowed the group to exchange anecdotes and memories and begin thinking about what impact Spence's building has had on their lives. Through this exercise the group were able to:

  • Share common experiences
  • Articulate their thoughts on what Glasgow Airport has meant and continues to mean to them

Using archive material such as old photographs, letters and other memorabilia is an excellent way for a group to come together through sharing common experiences. This type of activity can help groups explore their collective heritage and learn more about their shared history.

2. Creating a travel magazine

Participants worked together with a graphic designer and RCAHMS staff to turn their thoughts and memories of Glasgow Airport into a 10-page travel magazine. Each person wrote an article and selected images from the archive to accompany their work. Before starting to write in earnest, we did a number of warm up writing techniques, inspired by newspaper articles within the Spence archive, for example, writing articles to accompany some of the newspaper headlines we found.

"I'm really pleased with what I've produced. I never thought I could've done something like this!"

(member of the Glasgow Airport Aviation Enthusiasts Club)

On completion of their articles, participants were asked to consider a number of points during the editorial process:

  • Were the articles written the right length? Did any adjustments need to be made?
  • How should the images selected be presented on each page? Were any further images required?
  • How should each page look?
  • What did they want the overall "feel" of the magazine to be?
  • What order should the pages be in? What content should come first?
  • Was the font size legible?

Participants were involved in all stages of the design process, working alongside the graphic designer right up to the official launch of the publication at Glasgow Airport in April 2006.

The creation of this magazine brought together a number of people from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. A similar art project would help assist in the development of skills such as organisation, creativity and team work which are central to the Curriculum for Excellence and for use in later life.

Materials & Equipment

  • Copies of archive material relating to Glasgow Airport
  • Laptops and colour printer
  • Old newspapers
  • Flipchart and flipchart paper
  • Coloured markers

Further development

Glasgow Airport has changed considerably over time to meet the demands of 21st century air travel. How has the airport - and air travel itself -changed since Spence designed the building in the mid 1960s? Consider the following questions:

  • How has the exterior of the building changed?
  • Why has it changed?
  • What about the interior? How has it changed since 1966?
  • What considerations do architects today have when designing and building an airport? What do you think Spence's concerns may have been? Are they the same?

The design of the Airport workshop can be adapted to suit any local workplace, including hospitals, stations or even a shop or office. Recording changes in layout, uniform, wages, conditions of service and job remit can bring local history to life.