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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Issues Now 2014 Built Environment Debates / Wednesdays at 10.30am

Emily Smyth, University of Ulster

The "Issues Now" series of coffee-time debates relating to design of the built environment has returned. Some issues never go away, do they? Following on from where the 2013 series left off, the 2014 series again brings together representatives of the professions and other organisations with remit in the design of the built environment to raise matters which cause them serious concern.

The series takes the stance that issues driving debate and development in the design of the built environment are many and varied. Issues might take place on a world stage and have individual global impact, or they may emerge locally and successionally over time or space, having impact cumulatively. The measure of their ‘criticality’ might be life threatening, environmentally destructive, socially adaptive, lifestyle impacting, economic, poetic, moral, ethical, political, professional, personal. A critical awareness of these matters is essential across the design and built environment disciplines in order to understand the contribution each can make to the context of concerns and ideas. This series of debates seeks to introduce the most current preoccupations within the design of the built environment at the scales of the building, city, region and indeed the earth. Presenting the multiplicity of views, issues and actions of the professions and campaign organisations working in design and the built environment in Northern Ireland, the pertinent and probing topics of last year's series proved this indeed to be the case.

The series was developed as a forum in which to raise issues relevant to all in the design of the built environment, but often only considered by each discipline alone rather than together in conversation. These issues may tally across organisations, or may in fact jar or separate. Since 2013, some issues will have moved on, others may have intensified, more are yet to be raised and discussed. Each week 3 representatives of the professional institutes and campaign organisations relating to design in the built environment are invited to present 3 issues relating to design of the built environment which cause their organisation significant concern, explain why, and expand what their organisation is doing in this regard.

Open to members of the public, students and professionals in design of the built environment, the debate and conversation, and possible decisions for action, are accompanied by morning coffee and cake for all: if the best thinking takes place late into the night, does the best consolidation of this thinking take place over coffee the next morning…?

Coffee-conversations are scheduled to take place from 10.30am - 12noon, in the Black Box on Hill Street, Belfast on Wednesday mornings.

2014 Issues Now series dates:

First series:

Wed 24 Sep (NB: 11am start) Forum for Alternative Belfast
Wed 1 Oct: Belfast Healthy Cities; Landscape Institute (LINI)
Wed 8 Oct: Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE); Chartered institute of Ecologists and Environmental Managers (CIEEM)

Second series:

Wed 12 Nov: TBC
Wed 19 Nov: Northern Ireland Environment Link; Belfast Healthy Cities; Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
Wed 26 Nov: Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
Wed 26 Nov: Landscape Institute Northern Ireland (LINI); Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
Wed 3 Dec: Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); Construction Industry Group (CIGNI)
Wed 10 Dec: Institution of Civil Engineers

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Upcoming events at PLACE during September 2014

September 2014 is shaping up to be a busy month at our new premises on Lower Garfield Street. We have a number of free talks and walks scheduled throughout the month. Visit www.placeni.org/upcoming-events.html for more information and to book.

PLACE, 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street, Belfast, BT1 1FP.



Friday, 29 August 2014

Heritage Tours: Rediscover the Strand

Heritage Tours | August - December 2014

The Strand Arts Centre, a not-for-profit cinema and arts centre, is hosting a series of heritage tours once a month until December. The tour is led by the Strand's expert projectionist and film enthusiast Alan McClurg. Explore the unique Art Deco architecture and traditional movie theatre and go behind the scenes to see the workings of an original 35mm film projector.

  • 30 August, 12.30pm
  • 13 September, 12.30pm
  • 18 October, 12.30pm
  • 8th November, 12.30pm
  • 20th December, 12.30pm

Availability is limited to 10 people so booking is essential. To book, please visit www.strandartscentre.com, phone 028 9067 3500 or call in to the Strand at 152-154 Holywood Road, Belfast. Cost: £3 per person. For further information please click here for the Strand Heritage brochure.


Credit: Strand Arts Centre.

EHOD Tours | Sat 13 & Sun 14 August 2014

The Strand Arts Centre is opening for European Heritage Open Days 2014 and offering tours of the distinctive art-deco building. For more information please visit www.strandartscentre.com or phone 028 9067 3500.

Credit: Strand Arts Centre.

About the Strand Arts Centre

The Strand began as a movie theatre in 1935 designed in an art deco style, with design influences from the nearby shipyards. After closure for a period in the 1980's the building was purchased by the current landlord’s father and re-opened in 1986 as a variety theatre seating over 1,000 people. By 1989 a complete internal refurbishment of the Strand provided a four-screen cinema. A refurbishment of the external facade in 1999 by Robinson Patterson Partnership (RPP) architects emphasised the art deco facade and attracted an RIBA award. The Strand is now a not-for-profit Cinema & Arts Centre, running and hosting film, comedy, music, theatre and various live events.


Credit: Strand Arts Centre.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

College Square East Public Engagement Event - Thursday 14 August 2014

On Thursday 14th August Turley Associates will host a public engagement event at the former Belfast Metropolitan College Building at College Square East, Belfast. The event will run from 12noon to 7pm and will display the draft student accommodation proposals and management arrangements.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

New Exhibition at Belfast Exposed: Reconstructions / Opens Thursday 14 August, 7pm - 9pm

Belfast Exposed is pleased to present Reconstructions. This exhibition brings together work by contemporary artists whose work explores the dynamic relationship between photography and architecture.

The exhibition poses a series of enquiries into our perception and experience of the built environment. It also explores the nature of photography and how the medium can be used to articulate some of the more imaginative or unsettling qualities of architecture. In Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs series ‘Building Berlin’, the artists installed simple temporary wooden structures in front of existing buildings. When photographed from a particular angle, the structures mimic the lines of the building, sometimes extending the lines and thus proposing new possibilities for the space. The temporary interventions disrupt the illusion of three dimensional space in the two-dimensional image, and play on the nature of photography as a construction.

Espen Dietrichson, Return to the Unknown #2, 2014 © the artist

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Catalyst Artists in Residence at Somewhereto_ Antrim open studio and dinner party

summer of somewhereto_, is a nationwide festival celebrating young people doing innovative and inspiring things in amazing spaces. 

somewhereto_ along with Catalyst Arts hosted three artists in residence into the abandoned shop space in Antrim town; Drydan Wilson, Ciaran Mc Cusker and Rosanna Mc Kenna. One of the artists, Rosanna is hosting a dinner party in the studio space where people are invited to come along to see the art, dine and discuss how the space could be used in the future.

A free bus will leave Catalyst Arts at 5.30pm on Thursday 7th August to the somewhereto_ space in Antrim town and return to Belfast at 7.30pm.



Saturday, 12 July 2014

summer of somewhereto_ Launch Party

55 High Street, Antrim, BT41 4AY
Tuesday 15 July, 6-8pm
FREE

For three weeks this summer, somewhereto_ will again take over a vacant retail unit, transforming it over three weeks into a free creative space for young people to use for enterprise, fashion, music, photography, art, events, and workshops. summer of somewhereto_ is a national festival, with six locations across the UK. On 15 July 2014, we will formally the launch the Northern Ireland space, located on High Street in Antrim, and shine a spotlight on homegrown talent from across the region. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Job Opportunity: Planning Lecturer at University of Ulster

The University of Ulster is seeking to recruit a Planning Lecturer who is able to contribute to teaching, research and course administration. 

The postholder will teach across both undergraduate and postgraduate provision within the planning discipline and will contribute to research in land use planning, spatial planning and community planning.



The post will be based within the University's School of the Built Environment - a leading provider of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees across a broad range of academic disciplines which includes transportation, construction, planning, property, surveying, and civil engineering. 

Applicants must have experience of teaching planning and development. Closing date: 31 July 2014. 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

EHOD Short Film Competition

Every year European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) is celebrated across 50 regions within Europe, who participate in celebration of their individual region's local heritage and culture.

In Northern Ireland this popular event attracted over 68,000 visitors last year and is coordinated by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), encouraging building owners to open their doors – last year over 400 sites and properties revealed rare and unique insights to our heritage and to our past.

This year for EHOD 2014, a new award will be piloted in association with Belfast Film Festival, especially for Northern Ireland’s raw talent in film-making, which offers a unique platform for amateur film makers to show their work.



To enter the competition, your film must meet the following brief criteria:

• The film’s subject matter must be concerned with Northern Ireland’s built heritage. Could you make a Horror movie in the 'Harbour Commissioners Office'? Or a Science fiction film in Carrickfergus Castle? Maybe a Romantic comedy in Ballywalter House? Or what about a silent comedy in Austins Department Store!*

• The film MUST qualify for a ‘Universal’ age group and therefore be family friendly e.g. no swearing, no exposures to violence on camera.

• The film must last no longer than 5 minutes, and be submitted in the appropriate format (see T&Cs).

• Prizes will be given for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor. The winning films will be screened as part of the EHOD Annual Thank You event on a day in November.

Therefore one or all of the collaborators must be available and able to travel to the venue on this date for the screening and to accept their prize.

• Any submissions made by film makers for the EHOD Prizes, must be open to their work being accessible and promoted as part of the EHOD 2014 weekend and for NIEA in the future, and utilised for social media and further promotions.

* Please note that these properties may not be available for filming. You can contact them directly if you would like to. If there are any properties in Northern Ireland you are interested in filming in, please contact us and we will help as much as we can. A full listing of NIEA sites can be found at: http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/places_to_visit_home.

For full Terms & Conditions click here.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Belfast Civic Trust launch Historic Belfast and Christian Heritage Trails - Tues 1 July, 5pm

Belfast Civic Trust invites you and a guest to the launch of the revised and expanded 2014 editions of Historic Belfast City Centre Architectural Walking Trail and Belfast Christian Heritage Architectural Trail.

Linen Hall Library Members Room, Tuesday 1st July 2014, 5pm.

RSVP by Friday 27th June to Gillian Pearson - 028 9089 1782 or gillian@ulsterscotsagency.org.uk.



What if! I could live in the city? | Forum for Alternative Belfast Summer School 2014

What if
I could live in the city?

What if I could walk to school? What if I could cycle to work? What if the park, playground, shop and cinemas were just around the corner?

Over the past twenty years other cities in Europe have witnessed a desire for people to live back in the city. The suburban dream of the last fifty years, made possible by the motor car, is coming to an end. What if, I could live in the city again?

This is the theme of the Forum for Alternative Belfast's 6th annual summer school to be held in Belfast City Hall from Monday 18th to Friday 22 August 2014.



The population of Belfast has decreased from just under half a million people to 273,000 over the past fifty years. Only 32,000 people currently live within a 20 minutes walk of the city centre. There is currently 107 hectares, equivalent to 265 football pitches, of vacant building land in the centre of Belfast.

There are also many empty existing buildings including shops and offices that could be converted into places to live. What do we need to do now to stimulate a desire and confidence to move back into the city? What type of housing creates a vibrant city?

Key themes for the week:
  • types and tenure of housing
  • new ways of living, the size of households
  • street design, making streets worth living on
  • land available in the city
  • other new developments in the city
  • financial delivery models
  • gentrification and economic interfaces
  • marketing a renewed city, new city policies

The week is a learning opportunity for anyone interested in housing and the city. You can get involved for five days or to dip in and out of events. 

For more information visit: www.forumbelfast.org.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Modernism v Conservation: Planning 20th Century Belfast - Andrew Molloy, UU PhD Candidate

During PRONI's 'Belfast: Past, Present, Future' public talks, University of Ulster PhD Candidate Andrew Molloy presented a talk entitled 'Modernism v Conservation: Planning 20th Century Belfast'. You can now view the talk at PRONI's online YouTube channel.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

FABB consultation event on Queen's Parade, Bangor / Thurs 19 June, 7.30pm

For A Better Bangor are hosting a consultation event on Thursday 19 June, 7.30pm to discuss the Turley Associates / Department for Social Development's proposals for Queen's Parade, Bangor.



Mapping Alternative Ulster with Garrett Carr

Garrett Carr, Lecturer in Creative Writing, Queen's University Belfast

Writing a regular mapping blog, newmapsofulster.net, and making maps of my own has made me a keen observer of cartography in Northern Ireland and Ulster, especially the work of independent practitioners. I think there is a lot of interesting work happening here but it is not widely known about. The map-makers themselves are a very disparate bunch and often don’t know about each other. Some of them work with the latest digital technology, charting urban spaces. Others are rural, folk-cartographers, working with paper and ink. I felt it was time, simply, to gather some of the best work and display it all in one room for everybody to see. The result is Mapping Alternative Ulster, an exhibition that is currently hanging in the Ulster Museum. It continues until 22 June.

Mapping Alternative Ulster - An exhibition at the Ulster Museum.

Maps of Northern Ireland are often used to illustrate traditional political divisions. During recent elections we were presented with the familiar cliché; green and orange, colour-coding the population. But such lazy maps conceal a much more nuanced and interesting place. This exhibition brings together diverse mapmakers: local historians, activists, artists, geographers and urban planners who interpret our surroundings in different ways. Mapping Alternative Ulster is an attempt to re-think our representation on maps.


I think a lot of the work in the show is important, a lot of it is beautiful, a lot of it is both. Many of the maps have fascinating stories behind them, they are told on the panels displayed along side each map.

After the Ulster Museum I hope to bring Mapping Alternative Ulster to other venues.

A series of events is running along side the show, find out more at www.mappingalternativeulster.net.

Monday, 9 June 2014

The 2ha Fundit campaign is now live

2ha is a magazine interested in the suburbs. Last year, the 2ha team ran a successful Fundit campaign which provided the means to publish the magazine's first #6 issues. Since then, 2ha has engaged with architects, artists and academics to disseminate exclusively written or unshared work that both examines and reimagines the spaces which make up our suburban landscapes.


Each issue is formatted in order to explore the phenomenon of suburbia and its relationship to a particular field of study. So far this has included subjects such as photography, public space, history, language, and typology. One aim is to ultimately develop a body of work which may be read individually or as a single piece of investigation.

But there may still be a few more topics worthy of investigation - over the next 12 months, 2ha plans to produce four new editions, on a quarterly basis, in accordance with the following outline of themes and publications:

#07 Suburbia + Cinema
#08 Suburbia + Modernism
#09 Suburbia + Sport
#10 Suburbia + Capital

As a way of funding this project, 2ha has returned to Fundit. The magazine is offering subscriptions, hand-made illustrations and all manner of suburban merchandise for a limited time only.

To get involved and help support this project please visit the 2ha Fundit page here.

Please contact the 2ha team at editor@2ha.ie if you have any questions. You can follow 2ha via www.2ha.ietumblr, vimeo and twitter.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

PLACE has moved to Lower Garfield Street

2014 marks ten years of PLACE and we have moved to a new public space at 7-9 Lower Garfield Street.

Lower Garfield Street.

The street we now call home is an important pedestrian link between the commercial area of Royal Avenue and the vibrant cultural activities of the Cathedral Quarter. Our front door is a short walk from the CastleCourt shopping centre, the University of Ulster, The MAC, City Hall and much more besides.

Lower Garfield Street is also adjacent to North Street, one of Belfast’s original gateways and thoroughfares, which has, in recent years, suffered some of the worst examples of dereliction and urban decay in the city centre. We intend to contribute to the continued revitalisation of that area of Belfast City Centre.

Not only have we reactivated the property, we also intend to animate the surrounding public space of Lower Garfield Street through our busy programme of architecture and built environment projects and events.

The interior of 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street.

We look forward to welcoming you to the launch of our new space at Lower Garfield Street on Thursday 19 June, 6pm.

PLACE is grateful to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for funding support to refurbish the premises and purchase new equipment.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

We're hiring!


PLACE is seeking a Creative Assistant to work with us on an exciting upcoming project. 

Are you interested in supporting the next generation of creative entrepreneurs? Do you have ideas for innovative ways to revitalise town centres? 

We are seeking a Creative Assistant to help with the delivery of a summer festival that brings young talent to amazing spaces. Based in Antrim town centre, ‘the summer of somewhereto_’ festival is part of a network of events popping up in empty shops across the UK to provide a platform for young creatives to develop and showcase their ideas. 
Candidates will have an interest in supporting young people to reach their potential in the areas of enterprise, arts, culture, and sport. You will have experience working on live events and excellent organisational and administration skills, as well as a passion to spread the word about somewhereto_

More information about the role, candidate criteria, and the application form can be downloaded here.

How to apply: Complete the application form and email it to info@placeni.org with Creative Assistant Application in the subject line. You can also return it personally or by post to PLACE, 7-9 Lower Garfield Street, Belfast, BT1 1FP. Application forms must arrive at PLACE no later than 10am Wednesday 18 June
Do I need to sign the digital application form?: No, but you will be asked to sign it if you are called for an interview. 
What happens after I submit my application form?: We expect to prepare a shortlist immediately, and will notify candidates of this as soon as possible. Interviews will be held on Monday 23 June. We will endeavour to reply to all those who apply, whether they are called for interview or not. Please note that we may receive a large number of applications, and we have a small staff team - so your patience would be appreciated.


What do I do if I have further questions?: Contact us on 028 9023 2524 or email info@placeni.org with Creative Assistant query in the subject line.



Tuesday, 27 May 2014

UAHS Directory of Traditional Building Skills - 5th Edition / Launches Friday 27 June 2014

The UAHS's new online Directory of Traditional Building Skills will launch on Friday 27th June at the recently converted Duncairn Arts & Heritage Centre, Belfast. For further information visit: www.uahs.org.uk.

UAHS Directory of Traditional Building Skills - 5th Edition.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Bangor Urban Design Walk with Ken Sterrett / 25 May, 3pm / Project 24, Queen's Parade, Bangor

During May 2014 two local Bangor groups - For a Better Bangor and Bangor Shared Space - will be hosting a number of events in the Lilac Pod at Project 24, Queen's Parade, Bangor. 

The Lilac Pod at Project 24. Photo from http://fabbni.files.wordpress.com.

This Sunday 25 May, 3pm Ken Sterret will lead an Urban Design Walk around Bangor. Ken is a planner with Forum for Alternative Belfast and teaches at Queen's University Belfast.

For more information visit the event's Facebook page at this link.

Friday, 16 May 2014

"My project to improve neighbourhoods and help break the cycle of homelessness"

Paul Loughran, second from left, runs the Regenerate NI project.
The first post on our new somewhereto_ NI blog comes from Paul Loughran, a 21-year-old student at Queen's University, whose project Regenerate NI seeks to improve neighbourhoods and tackle homelessness.

somewhereto_ is a UK-wide, Big Lottery funded project that helps young people aged 16-25 to access underused or vacant spaces. PLACE is the Regional Delivery Partner for the project in Northern Ireland.

Why the new blog? We see it as a place to profile and share the things we care about across Northern Ireland, from projects that interest us to emerging entrepreneurs, artists, performers, and leaders that we want the world to know about. We will also feature journalism, short stories, and reviews authored by the brightest young talent in Northern Ireland.

If you want to write for the blog, or you know of something you think should be featured on it, let us know by emailing place@somewhereto.org

Find out more: somewhereto_ NI blog