‘Architecture at the Edge’ festival symposium to generate creative discourse about public spaces

Corcullen house

Corcullen house

A keynote event on the first day of the inaugural Architecture at the Edge festival will provide an opportunity for architects, planners, designers, creatives and local communities to talk about the shape of our built environment. The half day symposium entitled ‘Placemaking’ will be held on Friday 29th September at the O’Donoghue Centre NUI, Galway. What makes a great place to live? Who is involved in the making of places in which we live, work and play? How can we make more of our public places? These are just some of the questions to be explored at the symposium.

Speaking about the event, Sybil Curley, Symposium Curator said, “the placemaking symposium aims to promote an understanding of built environment issues across all sectors and to stimulate meaningful engagement with the public on a range of architectural and planning issues that affect us all.

“World-wide, there is a growing trend towards the belief that personal well-being is directly connected to the quality of the environment we inhabit. By drawing on insights from our speakers, we hope to highlight the importance of putting people and local communities at the centre of the placemaking process”.

Speakers at the symposium include architect Seán Harrington, who has a keen interest in the design, use, care and democratisation of public space. Carole Pollard, RIAI President will describe placemaking design initiatives to revitalise towns and villages through emotional connections between buildings and spaces. Referring to her award-winning ‘Clonakilty 400 Urban design master-plan’, Giulia Vallone will demonstrate how vibrant places are delivered through placemaking design measures and civic stewardship among local communities.

“We are honoured to have such a collection of inspiring architectural minds at this year’s Festival” added Frank Monahan, Festival Director. The speakers will explore the relevance of architecture within a broad cultural context and will address ways in which contemporary design practice can contribute positively to the quality of our lives.

“The morning symposium will be followed in the afternoon by a number of workshops at which members of the public can work alongside the speakers in the practical implementation of the morning’s discussions.”

On Saturday 30th September Richard Murphy whose House at Hart Street Edinburgh won the RIBA/ Grand Designs UK House of the Year 2016 and who designed the O’ Donoghue Centre at NUI Galway will deliver a guest lecture on the theme of the conversion of old buildings. The lecture will take place at the The Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS ) building at NUI, Galway. 

Architecturally guided tours will be on offer on both Saturday 30th and Sunday 01st October. The Lough Corrib tour on Saturday 30th September, features a guided visit of Ross Errilly Friary, a private tour of Ashford Castle, a visit to the new Fishers of Men installation in Cong Woods and guided tour of the ancient church ruins on Inchagoill Island on Lough Corrib. On Sunday 01st October, a guide tour will invite audiences to explore Leagaun House in Moycullen, Kylemore Abbey, GMIT Letterfrack and the Marconi Station at Derrigimlagh. The Bungalow Bliss Tour will take place on Saturday 30th September.

Taking a creative twist on food, the Edible Architecture competition across three prize categories is open to primary school and secondary school students as well as adults. Budding architectural chefs are invited to display their creations in Galway City Museum between 12 and 1pm on Sunday October 01. Creations must be made from food - savoury or sweet, and should be no greater than 60cm x 60cm in area with no limit on height.

“In addition to the symposium, the tours, and edible architecture, the festival will also see over 25 public and private buildings open to the public with many tours of the properties led by the architects who designed the buildings. There are also a number of architectural exhibitions at various locations throughout the city including NUI, Galway, Áras an Chontae on Prospect Hill and the Eyre Square Centre.

“Most events are free, but spaces are limited, so we would urge people to book their tickets at the festival website www.architectureattheedge.com Events are filling up so be quick!” concluded Frank Monahan.

Architecture at the Edge is kindly supported by Galway County Council, Clár Éire Ildánach / Creative Ireland Programme 2017-2022, Mayo County Council, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht - Government Policy on Architecture 2009-2015, Galway City Council, NUI, Galway, The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

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