Emily Smyth, University of Ulster
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:
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)
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