Friday, 19 December 2014

UAHS 2015 Programme of Events

The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS) works to promote appreciation and enjoyment of good architecture of all periods and encourages the conservation, restoration and re-use of Ulster’s built heritage to regenerate and sustain our communities. The organisation has developed a programme of public events for 2015.

William Kent: An Appreciation
Thursday 29 January
Lecture by Professor James Stevens Curl
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, 7.30pm

Annual General Meeting of the Society
Wednesday 18 February
Guest speaker, Dr David Fleming, Chair of the Irish Georgian Society
Belmont Tower, Belfast, 7pm

Derry / Londonderry: Walled City Treasure Hunt & Tour of the City
Saturday 28 March

Visit to Galgorm / Gracehill
Saturday 25 April

Historic Houses of Co.Tyrone
Saturday 9 May 

Architectural Pub Tour 
Thursday 11 June 

IGS / UAHS Summer School in Counties Armagh & Monaghan
Thursday 25 June - Saturday 27 June

Visit to Counties Cavan and Monaghan
Saturday 4 July

Visit to Central Belfast featuring Riddel’s Warehouse
Saturday 18 July

Teddy Bears Picnic at Marlacoo House, Portadown
Saturday 25 July

Roller Derby, Belfast

Historic Houses of Fingal
Saturday 22 August

Architects of Ulster: Young and Mackenzie, a Transformational Provincial Practice 1850 - 1960
Thursday 27 August
Lecture by Dr Paul Harron
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, 7.30pm

Wilhemena Geddes
Lecture by Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe
Ulster Museum, Belfast

Culture Night, Belfast 
Friday 18 September

Weekend in South Oxfordshire
Friday 25 - Monday 28 September 

Visit to the Yacht Club & Oratory, Dun Laoghaire
Saturday 3 October 

War Memorials
Thursday 5 November
Lecture by Professor Keith Jeffery
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast 7.30pm

Open House
Saturday 5 December
66 Donegall Pass, Belfast, 10am - 2pm

For more information, please

NIEA Monuments & Building Record 2015 Programme of Public Lectures

A programme of public lectures in the Monuments and Buildings Record (MBR) has been announced for 2015. All are welcome to attend these lectures and admission is free. As space is limited, however, you are advised to come early to secure a seat.

Lecture Times: Fridays, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Venue: Monument & Buildings Record, Waterman House, 5-33 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA

Marks of Time - The Buildings of Derry~Londonderry
Friday 9 January
Manus Deery, Principal Conservation Architect, NIEA

The Archaeology of the Ballycastle Collieries, Ireland’s Oldest Coal Fields
Friday 6 February
Thomas McErlean, Centre for Maritime Archaeology

Lost Industrial Archaeology of the Mournes
Friday 6 March 
Stephen Russell, Historic Monuments Council

The Irish Heritage Trust, the story so far
Friday 20 March
Kevin Baird, Irish Heritage Trust

The Geoarchaeology of County Down’s High Crosses and Round Towers
Friday 3 April 
Ian Meighan, Trinity College Dublin

Rediscovering the Lost Town and Gardens of Dunluce Castle: The Dunluce Project Archaeology & Conservation
Friday 1 May 
Andrew Gault, Archaeologist, NIEA

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Campaign: Reverse Cuts to Built Heritage in Northern Ireland

Mark H. Durkan and the Department of Finance & Personnel have announced proposals to stop all Listed Building Grants and the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS) led Built Heritage at Risk NI, (BHARNI). These cuts signal a significant blow to the protection of historic buildings in Northern Ireland.

Listed Building Grant Aid
Listed building owners face a huge financial challenge raising the capital to cover the conservation deficit in maintaining and restoring our historic assets. Listed Building Grant Aid from the DoE provides funding for eligible works on listed buildings at 35 - 45%. Not only does grant aid support owners, but it can be taken as a source of match funding to encourage the support of other funders for the progression of key regeneration projects. If this financial aid is withdrawn, building owners will struggle to keep their historic properties maintained, water tight or even in use. For many it is the sole financial support that they can get to maintain their listed building. A responsibility that they are bound to respond to by law. 
Built Heritage at Risk NI (BHARNI)
The UAHS has worked for over 20 years to raise awareness of buildings at risk throughout Northern Ireland. In addition to survey, evaluation and maintaining an online register of Built Heritage At Risk Northern Ireland (BHARNI). UAHS works to identify sustainable future uses for our valuable built heritage; provides help and advice for existing owners who may wish to engage upon a suitable scheme of repair; and offers assistance to potential new restoring owners who are looking for properties for sale. Through BHARNI, buildings at risk are promoted from being challenging legacies of our past, to buildings of potential for new uses, social regeneration, tourism and skilled job creation.

For every £1 of listed building grant, £7.65 is leveraged from other sources, (DoE, 2012). 187 buildings at risk have been saved with the help of UAHS, 2006-14, (UAHS, 2014). Many buildings at risk rely on listed building grant aid to secure their future.

UAHS invite you to sign a petition to say no to cuts affecting the protection of historic buildings in Northern Ireland.

Conservation without Frontiers: Historic Buildings of Armagh & Monaghan in Context - June 2015

For the first time the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society and the Irish Georgian Society are coming together to provide a cross border summer school. The event is for students, enthusiasts and practitioners who want to discuss and debate issues relating to Irish heritage in the context of Armagh and Monaghan. Leaders of the summer school will include well known academics, architectural historians, architects, planners, conservation and heritage officers. 

Key themes will be:

Cathedrals: ecclesiastical re-ordering and liturgical changes in St. Macartan's, Monaghan and St Patrick's, Armagh, and in the Church of Ireland.

Planning Conservation Areas: conservation areas in the Mall and Market Square, Armagh and architectural conservation areas in Market Square, Church Square, and Main Square, Monaghan.

Heritage and Housing: regeneration through the restoration of houses in Armagh and the introduction of new housing in Glaslough, Monaghan.

Community Conservation and Public Regeneration: featuring community conservation projects St Peter's, Laragh, and Dartrey Mausoleum; and public regeneration projects Palace Demesne and the Woman's Prison, Armagh.

Conservation without frontiers will take place from Thursday 25th - Saturday 27th June 2015.

For further information please visit or

Monday, 15 December 2014

Registration for AAI Awards 2015 now open

Registration for the 30th Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI) Annual Awards 2015 is now open.   The deadline is 22nd January 2015.

The intention of the AAI Awards is to encourage higher standards of architecture throughout the country, to recognise projects which make a contribution to Irish architecture, and to inform the public of emerging directions in contemporary architecture.

Full details, registration forms and instructions to entrants are available at:

30th Annual AAI Awards

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Raviv Ganchrow: Shipping Forecast - Thurs 11 Dec, 1.10pm - 2.10pm

Shipping Forecast is a free concert by Raviv Ganchrow, organised by Recomposing the City, at the Sonic Arts Research Centre on Thursday 11th December, 1.10pm - 2.10pm.

Shipping Forecast explores the complex relations between territory and transmission in BBC Radio 4’s shipping bulletin. Coordinated recordings following the long-wave journeying of a signal from inside a studio at Broadcasting House; to the transmitter at Droitwich; to a shipat sea; to a transistor radio several hundred kilometres away; reveal audible aspects of broadcasting. The piece examines attractions between language, geography, radiation and precipitation where transduced speech addresses, defines as well as physically occupies dimensions of terrestrial space.

Raviv Ganchrow: Urban Modes of Listening - Wed 10 Dec, 1pm - 2pm

Raviv Ganchrow: Urban Modes of Listening is a free seminar organised by Recomposing the City at the Sonic Arts Research Centre on Wednesday 10th December, 1pm - 2pm. 

Raviv Ganchrow’s (1972) work focuses on interdependencies between sound, location and listener, aspects of which are explored through sound installations, writing and the development of acoustic forming and vibration sensing technologies. Recent installations examine context-specific sites in contemporary modes of listening. His on-going Listening Subjects project examines the contextual circuitry of listening whereby audibility, surroundings and subjectivity are conductive of one another. He has been teaching architectural design in the graduate program at TU Delft and is currently a faculty member at the Institute of Sonology, University of the Arts, The Hague.

Monday, 8 December 2014

The 2014 Fréd Awards - Friday 12 December, 1pm - 2pm at PLACE

PLACE will host the 2014 Fréd Awards, organised by The Fréd CC and NI Greenways, on Friday 12 December, 1pm - 2pm. The awards are awarded to those who put significant effort into campaigning and working to build a better cycling culture for everyone. The awards are voted for by the cycling public in an open vote (voting has now closed).

The awards event is free to attend and open to everyone, though booking is essential due to venue capacity.To register your attendance please click here. Tea and coffee provided.

Date: Friday 12 December
Time: 1pm - 2pm
Venue: PLACE, 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street, Belfast

New Magazine Celebrates Life and Creativity in Northern Ireland

Do you ever feel you want to read more empowering stories in a time of grim predictions for the future of our planet? For positive news in a world where fear sells papers, for slow journalism, for celebrating roots and for supporting sustainable and socially responsible lives, a new magazine is on its way. Freckle magazine is dedicating itself to celebrating the people, landscapes and livelihoods of Northern Ireland and beyond. 

It is about people who are carving out their own stories; a space to tell positive stories, to ask what actually gets people out of bed, and to document and delve into the spirit of our times. The first issue will have articles that explore Northern Ireland’s landscapes, our food system, the concept of belonging, boatmaking, cycling, music, architecture and more: stories of some the most creative and courageous people in Northern Ireland.

The team at Freckle want to make something beautiful for people to read, a print magazine that is part of the conversation asking how we can live sustainably and peacefully in Northern Ireland. And they are not alone. In just over two weeks they have raised over 80% of their crowdfunding campaign to print the first issue, due out in January 2015. 

Check out their Kickstarter page (with a two minute introduction video) and keep an eye on their website for more news in the future.


Kickstarter video:

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Forum for Alternative Belfast present Lorry Day: Saturday 6th December, 8pm - 1am

Bring along a lorry. Forum for Alternative Belfast's mark the second anniversary of the raising of a full size lorry 18 metres in the air to show the impact of a potential £130m flyover options at the York Street Interchange. The option was not selected and an underpass option is now being developed. For more information see

The event on 6th December also marks ‘Nicklaus Tag’, a day on which children in many European countries receive gifts. All attending are asked to bring along a lorry - Corgi, Dinki, Wooden or Plastic – all will be donated to The Belfast Childrens Hospice.

Music by Clare Hall and canopies provided by The Dark Horse.

Forum will also provide an update on the York Street Interchange.

Date: Saturday 6 December
Time: 8pm - 1am
Venue: The Dark Horse, Hill Street, Belfast
Admission: £5 (lorry tax)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

ArcSoc Lecture: Jo Van Den Berghe - Tues 9th Dec, 5.30pm

ARCSOC present at talk by Jo Van Den Berghe (The Thinker, the Poet, and I: Mnemosyne's Death and the Failure of Mourning) on Tuesday 9th December, 5.30pm at the David Keir Building, Stranmillis Road, Belfast. Admission is free for ARCSOC members and £3 for non-members.

Architect Jo Van Den Berghe teaches experimental architectural design at Leuven University, Belgium and works as a researcher and part-time professor at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia and Spain, in the field of Techne and Poiesis in making architecture (the poetics of making). He is a reflective practitioner-architect with a critical architectural practice in Belgium.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Kids Workshop: How to Design a Building - Sat 6 Dec, 11am - 12noon

Jenny Russell, writer and illustrator of How to Design a Building will lead a kids drawing workshop that explores the big questions an architect has to think of when designing a building; Why? Who? What? Where? When? How? You are encouraged to think about and design your own building.

Suitable for children aged 7-11. This workshop is free but spaces are limited so booking is essential.

Date: Saturday 6 December 2014
Time: 11am - 12noon
Venue: PLACE, 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street, Belfast, BT1 1FP

The production of this book has been made possible with the support of a grant from the NIEA NGO Challenge Fund. This workshop is part of PLACE’s City Saturdays programme, which is supported by Belfast City Council Arts & Heritage Small Grants Funding.

PLACE’s Christmas Book Sale - Thurs 4 - Sat 6 December 2014

Call into PLACE from 4th - 6th December where we’ll have a wide selection of our own publications on architecture, design and photography available, alongside similarly themed titles from other arts organisations and independent artists and designers. We’ll also be selling some special editioned posters, and postcards as ideal stocking fillers. Don't miss this opportunity to pick up some beautiful, informative, local print for your creative family and friends!

The fair will run;
  • Thursday 4 December, 6pm - 9pm
  • Friday 5 December, 10am - 6pm
  • Saturday 6 December, 1pm - 3pm

All monies raised will go towards our public programme. For more information please phone 028 9023 2524, or email

Exhibition & Book Launch: How to Design a Building - Thursday 4 December, 6 - 8pm

We’re launching our new publication, How To Design A Building, illustrated and written by architect Jenny Russell during Late Night Art on Thursday 4 December. The book is a learning tool for children to engage in the process of design and architecture. An exhibition featuring Jenny's original illustrations will accompany the launch event and will run until the end of December 2014.

How to Design a Building can be purchased for £5 from PLACE, 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street, or online by clicking on this link.

The production of this book has been made possible with the support of a grant from the NIEA NGO Challenge Fund.

Date: Thursday 4 December 2014
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Venue: PLACE, 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street, Belfast, BT1 1FP

Talk by Alan Dickson at Ulster University - Thursday 4 December, 5.30pm

Free talk by Alan Dickson at Ulster University, York Street, Belfast on Thursday 4th December 2014, 5.30pm.

Alan Dickson is the Practice Director of Rural Design Architects. He established the practice along with Gill Smith on the Isle of Skye in 2004. The practice has focused on the development of a progressive language for housing in the Scottish countryside and is now involved in projects and policy throughout Scotland.

Turf House, Kendram, Isle of Skye won the practice a Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Award for Architecture in 2013 (and was featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs) and the work of the practice has been published widely in Europe.

Fiskavaig house, Isle of Skye 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Titanic Foundation propose to ‘build a beach’ for Belfast

Titanic Foundation's proposal to build a beach in the heart of Titanic Quarter has been shortlisted for a potential £50,000 prize in the People’s Millions competition. 

The competition, which will be showcased on UTV evening news from Monday 24th November to Wednesday 26th November, will see community groups go head-to-head in a bid to win a Big Lottery Fund award for life-changing projects. Two groups each night will make their cases for viewers’ support to take home up to £50,000, with the public voting by phone to help decide who wins the prize. 

Titanic Foundation’s innovative ‘Build a Beach’ project is up for public vote today (Monday 24th November) and Titanic Foundation is encouraging people to pick up the phone and vote. From mobiles simply call 6228214 and from land-lines call 09015 228214.

If successful, the man made beach will be placed beside Titanic Belfast and will not only be a shared space for Belfast and the people of NI but also a fantastic venue for sporting, cultural and educational events and activities. From beach volleyball to building giant sand castles and playing life size board games, there will be something for all to enjoy. Beach huts will be erected, a must for Belfast’s climate, and it will provide the perfect location to welcome the arrival of the Tall Ships in July 2015.

Titanic Foundation Destination Manager, Maeve Curran, said; ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for Belfast and Northern Ireland. In the UK and Europe, urban beaches are fast becoming established and increasingly attractive. We want to bring a little bit of seaside to the city and have positioned the beach next to our World Class Visitor attraction, Titanic Belfast, to add to the visitor experience.'

In 2013 Paris Plage attracted 3 million people and many beaches are popping up in cities across the UK including Southbank in London, Cardiff, Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol.

Maeve added, ‘We intend to work with local primary schools across Belfast in the design process and we hope to recruit, train and work with a team of volunteers to help with regular beach maintenance and assist with the organisation of beach events and activities. Our aim is to create a place that will engage with and attract local communities, providing a space that belongs to everyone. Within easy reach anyone can walk, cycle, or hop on public transport and be on our beach within minutes. First we need to secure the funding. If you would use our beach, please pick up the phone and vote today (Monday 24th November). Anyone can vote up to ten times! We need your support.’

For full details on voting please visit

Friday, 21 November 2014

RSUA Conservation Site Visit: Sion Mills Stables - 3 December 2014

The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) Conservation Committee invite you to visit the Stables at Sion Mills. The site visit will take place on 3rd December 2014, meeting in the Classroom at the Stables at 11am.

The Stables is a B+ listed building which had deteriorated over many years and became the subject of a historic buildings Repairs Notice. When that proved ineffective and the building was at risk of complete loss the NIEA stepped in and vested the Stables. This is the first time compulsory purchase powers have been employed in Northern Ireland to rescue a historic building.

Hearth Revolving Fund, which is the longest-established building preservation trust in the province, had agreed to take the building over in a back-to-back agreement with the DoE, and it then set about raising finance for the restoration of the Stables, which took place in two phases. Despite the severe deterioration of the building it was possible to retain and restore significant elements of historic fabric, but decisions also had to be made about the extent of intervention possible, and the approach to incorporating new elements. The building opened for business in September.

The visit will start with a short history of the project and description of the works, followed by a walk round the building. Coffee will be provided on arrival, and lunch will be available in the restaurant at the Stables.

Please confirm attendance before 28th November by emailing Marcus Patton at marcus@hearth- There will be a charge of £5 payable on arrival. Lunch will be available at the Stables Restaurant afterwards, but booking is advisable as it can be very busy; a menu is available on request.

Job Opportunity: RSUA Director

The Royal Society of Ulster Architects welcomes applications for the role of RSUA Director. This strategic role will ensure the advancement of architecture and the promotion of high standards in the industry through delivery of our strategic plan, networking and liaison with key stakeholders, management of budgets, event management, development of services and managing operations and finance in close partnership with the RSUA Council and President / Honorary Officers.

The role will appeal to individuals who have a passion for design in the built environment, a desire to see standards upheld through knowledge impartation and service development, and the ability to implement plans which will extend the influence of this important work in NI and beyond.

For an application pack, please email Closing Date: 5pm, Friday 12 December 2014. For any further information pleas email

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Everything an Architect needs to know about Marketing - Mon 24 Nov, 6pm

Everything an architect needs to know about marketing is a public lecture and discussion led by architect Paul Iddon on Monday 24 November 2014. The talk begins at 6pm in Room LG/024, David Keir Building, Queen's University Belfast, Stranmillis Road.

Paul Iddon is an architect and current Managing Director of Spring UK Ltd - A Strategic brand and communication agency specialising in the built environment sector.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Undocumented - The Architecture of Migrant Detention / Wed 17 Dec 2014, 12noon at PLACE

Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention (The Architecture Observer, 2014) is graphic novel that documents the invisibilized architectures of incarceration. Situated in Canada, this book explores the growing global industry of immigration detention, and questions the role of architectural design in the control of migrant bodies in such spaces. Using the conventional architectural tools of representation, we spatialize and confront the silenced voices of those who are detained and the anonymous individuals who design spaces of confinement.

A presentation and conversation led by Tings Chak will focus on questions of architectural ethics in the design of spaces of confinement such as prisons and detention centres, and place it in a larger context of global migration and displacement.

Tings Chak is a multidisciplinary artist and architect whose work draws inspiration from anti-colonial, migrant justice, prison abolition, and spatial justice struggles. She is an organizer with No One Is Illegal - Toronto and the End Immigration Detention Network.

Books will be available for sale. For more information please visit:

Date: Wednesday 17 December 2014
Time: 12noon - 1pm
Venue: PLACE, 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street, Belfast
Registration: Free to attend, but spaces are limited so booking is advised at this link:

Monday, 10 November 2014

Local Government & Planning Seminar - Wednesday 3 December 2014, 1.30pm

The NI Assembly will host a seminar on Local Government & Planning on Wednesday 3 December 2014, 1.30pm - 3.30pm. The event is free to attend; anyone wishing to register should email

The seminar is part of the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS). KESS aims to promote evidence-led policy and law-making within Northern Ireland and is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, formally partnering a legislative arm of government - the Assembly - with academia. Aiming to encourage debate and improve understanding, KESS provides a forum to present and disseminate research findings in a straightforward format, across the Programme for Government; making those findings easily accessible to decision-makers such as MLAs and Assembly committees, as well as the wider public sector.

KESS is jointly delivered by the Research and Information Service of the Assembly (RaISe), in partnership with Queen’s University, Ulster University and the Open University. For more information please visit:

Local Government & Planning
Wednesday 3 December, 2014, 1.30pm - 3.30pm
The Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont Estate

1.30pm: RaISe - Welcome
1.35pm: Assembly Committee Chair - Opening Remarks

1.45pm: Prof Colin Knox (Ulster) - Community Planning in Local Government - how do we do it?

One of the key reforms in local government reorganisation is the statutory power of community planning, which has been described as the equivalent of Delivering Social Change (OFMDFM) at council level. There is however a dearth of information on how to take the principles of community planning from concept to practical implementation in Northern Ireland. This presentation draws on a pilot study and sets out one approach to the outworking of community planning in local government. It will highlight potential tensions between community planning partners in relation to the issue of accountability: vertical accountability to the Minister, and Assembly and horizon accountability to the community planning partnership. It also offers insights into emerging central-local government relations and whether community planning could rebalance a devolved administration which has been centripetal in nature.

2.05pm: Mr Gavan Rafferty and Prof Greg Lloyd (Ulster) - Community Planning and Land Use Planning in Ireland’s Border Area

The convergence of local government reform in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is occurring at a unique moment in the island’s history, allowing further consideration on how an inter-jurisdictional co-operative framework can foster collaborative decision making on cross boundary community planning issues. In Northern Ireland, the proposal to introduce community planning will herald the reorganisation of local government, together with the transfer of statutory land use planning functions from the centre to the new local authorities. The Republic of Ireland is also witnessing a strengthening of its local governance arrangements. The Local Government Reform Act 2014 will create new local economic and community plans (LECP), which facilitate the better integration of public bodies, social and community partners to collaboratively work on integrated plans for specific actions in communities. This presentation explores the interfaces between land use planning (reforms) and community planning (innovation) in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the specific context of the border area. There are vertical, horizontal and lateral dimensions to this potential interface and the context is febrile with questions around culture, capacity and competence in executing the new governance arrangements on integrated service delivery and spatial development.

2.25pm: Dr Karl O’Connor (Ulster) - Policy making at the local level: Everyday policy making in our local councils

If greater powers are to be devolved to our new super councils, what type of institutions will inherit these powers and how will these powers be used? Existing public administration research would lead to the expectation of greater bureaucrat involvement in the traditionally more mundane aspects of policy formulation, while in areas of greater public and political interest greater political involvement in the decision-making process would be expected. Converse to these expectations, however, evidence from Belfast City Council suggests that the bureaucratic elite are found to play a pivotal role in the day-to-day management of power-sharing within the city. This presentation highlights research findings that identify two ‘typologies of bureaucrat’ within the Council; and these in turn provide an insight into what guides everyday decision-making. It further explains that the development of administrative capacity within our local Councils is a necessary condition not only for good governance and supporting local councillors, but also for conflict management. (The research was conducted using Q Methodology: a mixed method designed to measure core beliefs and values and was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council).

2.45pm: Discussion
3.15pm: RaISe - Closing Remarks
3.20pm: Networking and Refreshments

Film Screening: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio - Wed 12 Nov, 5pm, Ulster University

Film Screening: Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio
Date: Wednesday 12 November
Time: 5pm - 6pm
Venue: Conor Lecture Theatre, York Street, Ulster University
Booking: Not necessary. Free to attend

Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio is a documentary film on the late architect Samuel Mockbee and the radical educational design / build program known as the Rural Studio.

Hale County, Alabama is home to some of the most impoverished communities in the United States of America. It is also home to Auburn University’s Rural Studio, one of the most prolific and inspirational design-build outreach programs ever established. Citizen Architect is a documentary film chronicling the late Samuel Mockbee, artist, architect, educator and founder of the Rural Studio.

Citizen Architect explores Mockbee’s effort to provide students with an experience that forever inspires them to consider how they can use their skills to better their communities. Revealing the philosophy and heart behind the Rural Studio, the documentary is guided by passionate, frank and never-before-seen interviews with Mockbee himself.

The film follows, Jay Sanders, a young, first-time instructor at the Rural Studio as he leads a group of students in the process of crafting a home for their charismatic client, Jimmie Lee Matthews. Known within the community as Music Man because of his passion for soul music, Jimmie Lee maintains a healthy zeal for life, blasting R&B from his vast collection of used stereos and boasting that he “ain’t never met a stranger!” Over the course of the project a powerful bond forms between Sanders, the students and Music Man.

Citizen Architect supplements Mockbee's words and the students' experiences with perspective from other architects and designers who share praise and criticism of the Rural Studio, including Peter Eisenman, Michael Rotondi, Cameron Sinclair, Steve Badanes and Hank Louis. Their dialogue infuses the film with a larger discussion of architecture’s role in issues of poverty, class, race, education, social change and citizenship.

The film follows up with Music Man, Sanders, his students and other Rural Studio graduates to see how the program has affected their lives. Through scenes with architects such as Hank Louis of Design/Build Bluff in Utah and Cameron Sinclair of Architecture for Humanity, Citizen Architect captures the ripple effect that the Rural Studio continues to have throughout the profession. Above all else, this film offers a dialogue about what it means to be both a successful professional and a responsible member of society.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Northern Builder Trade Show 2014 - 19 - 20 November 2014

The Northern Builder Trade Show 2014 takes place on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 November at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shaw's Bridge, Belfast. Throughout the show a range of industry experts will deliver talks and seminars on a variety of topical issues relevant to the building and design industry. 


4.30 - 5.00pm - CDM Regulations

The Association for Project Safety will deliver all the details you need on the new CDM regulations.

5.00 - 5.30pm - BIM Solutions

Pentagon Solutions will provide an introduction to Building Information Modelling (BIM) and how Autodesk Revit technology can facilitate compliance with the Government Level 2 BIM target for 2016.


9.45 - 10.05am - CEF - Public Procurement for Construction

CEF provides its view on the public procurement process.

10.15 - 10.35am - The Principles of Sustainable Design

Explaining the contents of the Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) for Architecture (DCAL) policy guidelines.

11.00 - 11.20am - Planning Service Reform

Beverley Cowan from the Planning Reform Team will provide a presentation on the forthcoming transfer of planning powers in Northern Ireland.

12.00 - 12.20pm - Buildhealth - Improving the Health of the NI Construction Industry

This talk will explain the role of Buildhealth, a joint venture between the construction industry in Northern Ireland and HSENI, what the main health issues in construction are and how they can be managed.

2.00 - 2.20pm - Low Impact and Sustainable Materials
Tom Woolley, a member of the board of Natureplus, the leading EU certification system for sustainable materials, will look at low impact renewable building materials such as wood fibre, hemp lime etc.

2.45 - 3.05pm - Q&A with Building Control NI
Your chance to hear about the latest regulation changes and speak to Building Control officers.

3.15 - 3.35pm - Healthy Buildings & Retrofitting: Breathability & Hygroscopic Materials
Tom Woolley explains the benefits of breathability, hygroscopic materials and low impact building methods.

Places are limited. To reserve your space, telephone now on 028 9261 2990 or visit

Late Night Art at PLACE - Thurs 6 Nov, 6pm - 9pm

In February 2015 a team of 12 from Belfast City Council's Property & Projects team will travel to Cambodia to build homes as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children programme. To support this project, PLACE will host The Big Art Sale during Late Night Art on Thursday 6 November. Artwork by colleagues, friends and families of Belfast City Council will be on display and available to purchase for this worthy cause. Refreshments also available.

Date: Thursday 6 November 2014
Time: 6pm - 9pm
Venue: PLACE, 7 - 9 Lower Garfield Street, Belfast, BT1 1FP

Monday, 3 November 2014

Architecture: the Art of Healing - Wednesday 19 November, 5pm

Queen's University's School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering invites you to Architecture: the Art of Healing, the inaugural lecture by Professor John Cole on Wednesday 19 November 2014, 5pm in the David Keir Building Lecture Theatre (LG.024).

Drawing from his extensive career in the Health Estates Sector and his delivery of award winning Health Care Buildings, Professor John Cole will address:
  • the importance of both client and design team developing a shared understanding of the quality and performance requirements for the project, 
  • those aspects of design quality, which when skilfully integrated, help create truly healing environments: differentiating excellence from mediocrity; and 
  • a number of approaches and principles that facilitate, encourage and support the delivery of design excellence.

RSVP by Monday 17th November to Andrea Fordham -

Refreshments will be served after the lecture in the hub, David Keir Building.