Independent magazines are back in a big way. Much like the recent vinyl resurgence, magazines are once again being appreciated for their aesthetic, craftsmanship and physicality in a wholly digital age.

The Stack Awards recently recognised architectural magazine ‘Crumble’ as their ‘Student Magazine of the Year’.

ECA Web Intern Rachel Lee spoke to Architecture student Theodore Shack about his role as editor-in-chief of an award-winning magazine.

MA (Hons) Architecture student Theodore Shack and his team of fellow Edinburgh students were recently invited to attend the Stack magazine awards at London’s The Queen of Hoxton rooftop bar.

Stack is an independent magazine subscriber service. The Stack Awards is the only awards ceremony of its kind, and is devoted to celebrating the creators of independent magazines. There, out of the many student magazine across the UK, the Crumble team were presented with the coveted title of ‘Student Magazine of the Year’.

Theodore says the winning the award was “a real honour and a huge boost to the potential of the magazine”, which is now being stocked at Tate Modern. “Hopefully it just means that the fantastically rich collection of ideas contained within it just get out to even more people and spark more discussion and action.” 

Theodore proudly holding Crumble's award for 'Student Magazine of the Year' at the Stack Awards
Image: Antonia Weir
Theodore proudly holding Crumble's award for 'Student Magazine of the Year' at the Stack Awards

“It is not so much a magazine about architecture (which might conjure images of glossy buildings), as a magazine which uses architecture as a lens to look at, and provide insight into social issues.”

Theodore Shack, Editor-in-Chief, Crumble magazine

Crumble was praised for its creative design, engaging concept and relevance to world around us. Theodore points out the importance of their decision to use Risograph printing in order for the magazine to be of quality weight and aesthetically pleasing. “Each page is formatted differently so that the magazine is as much a beautiful object as a fiery debate and conversation starter,” adds Theodore.

The first issue of the bi-annual magazine poses many questions regarding architecture’s social and cultural impact in society and the issues faced. It asks ‘what is urgent?’ An architecture magazine seem like an odd platform for such political conversation, to which Theodore says; “It is not so much a magazine about architecture (which might conjure images of glossy buildings), as a magazine which uses architecture as a lens to look at, and provide insight into social issues.”

Featuring writing and illustrations by contributors from all around the world, Crumble covers everything from ghosts to disaster relief in Haiti, using mushrooms as building material to solving the housing crisis – and everything in-between.

“We are faced with so many tabloid headings of ‘crises’, the housing crisis, the refugee crisis, the environmental crisis, a crisis of individuality, of imagination - and more! So having stopped to breathe, where do we begin?” asks Theodore. “This first issue broke down the questions in a way that sought to be critical and propositional at the same time.”

The second issue launches in January, and will tackle the follow up question - ‘what’s the plan?’

So what should we expect next from Crumble? “Variety!”, says Theodore, “Following the success of issue one, we have some fantastic articles and illustrations. It will be bright and exciting.”


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