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Monday, 27 October 2014

Building a Temple at Burning Man festival!

Friday 15th August was a very exciting day for me. I found out that I was being kept on in PLACE after working on a summer project with them. As if I wasn’t already excited enough, I was asked to work on a project with Artichoke in Derry next year with an Artist who builds wooden Temple structures at Burning Man. To research and prepare for this I was asked to be part of the Derry team to help with the Temple build at Burning Man festival in the Nevada Desert in America!  

"Love" art installation by Laura Kimpton

As a former San Francisco resident, artist, creative person, festival reveller and random experience junkie, Burning Man has always been high on my bucket list of inspirational experiences.  Burning Man is a difficult concept to explain if you haven’t been but I’ll try. It’s a festival in the desert where a temporary city, Black Rock City is created for a week. In Black Rock City art and architectural structures are built on the desert, referred to as “the playa” and burnt by the end of the week to emphasise the temporal nature of the festival; immediacy being one of their guiding principles. Burning Man has 10 key principles, which set the tone and atmosphere of the festival, which I think is one of the reasons why it is so unique. Money doesn’t exist in Black Rock City (with the exception of coffee and ice for sale), there is no marketing, brands, band line-ups.  Instead this non-monetary environment is balanced out by a gifting culture (another principle) You no more as have to think of something you need or would like and someone will offer it to you. This ranged from food, a lend of a bike, a hug, a compliment, time, an amazing indian head massage hairwash, an air mattress, weird and wonderful entertainment, as well as countless Burning Man trinkets and mementos. As they say in Black Rock City, “The Playa provides…” which I found to be very true!

Art car & mutant vehicle line up

Myself and the three other Derry crew felt like we had won a golden ticket by being asked to take part.  We made our journey from Derry to Belfast, San Francisco via Newark and hopped on the Burner Express to the Nevada desert!

We arrived with an early pass, first timers at Burning Man were separated from the crowd, made to make dust angels and roll about in the sand and ring a bell shouting “I’m not a virgin anymore!” signifying our initiation into the wonderful mysterious experience that is Burning Man festival.

Temple of Grace at sunset

We were warmly welcomed by David Best to the Temple team of 100 people made up of architects, designers, artists, builders and general volunteers who worked on the Temple for 3 weeks. We helped the last 3 days. Everyone was fascinated by the Derry project and many of them were really keen to be a part of the chosen team going to Derry for the build. We tried to explain the context of Derry, the bonfire culture, divided communities and discussed the potential of a project like this in Derry.

Temple decor team making mosaic tiles for the floor

What struck me about the Temple team was how much of a community family atmosphere had grown between them. Many of them were coping with big losses in their lives and found the Temple project a way to work through these. It was amazing to see such a diverse group of people, of all ages and abilities, full of absolute characters work together in a non hierarchical fashion and tirelessly build a Temple that would be burnt down after a week! 

Temple of Grace team 2014 & David Best, photo by David Washer

The Temple was incredibly intricate and beautiful, made from thousands of wood cut panels which then people were invited to write on and leave their messages. It was such an emotional atmosphere in the Temple, people mourned lost loved ones, singing, praying crying, writing messages This was a stark contrast to the booming techno music and exhibitionism on the main playa. 


The altar and messages left at the Temple

The Temple burn night was the last night of the festival. As Temple crew we have front seats on the sand and thousands gathered to watch the Temple burn down along with their messages to loved ones, regrets, secrets and confessions. The atmosphere was respectful, reflective and still. We sat mesmerized by the beauty of the Temple burning, watching the flames slowly envelop the structure, the colours of the flames inverting like the negative of a photograph, the heat on our faces, the wind dance swirls of dust and ash and eventually the structure spinning and collapsing.


Burning Man and working on the Temple was an amazing, inspirational, intense and emotional experience. I’m so excited about the Temple coming to Derry, if it can even create of fraction of the positivity, emotional release and community atmosphere that comes from working together on a project like this I think it will be very powerful! 

The Man burning


If you want to help #Temple2015 come to Derry, spread the word and donate to their Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/artichoketrust/temple

Help shape the Cathedral Quarter

Cathedral Quarter Trust (CQT) requests your participation in a survey about the Cathedral Quarter area.

The Cathedral Quarter’s cobbled streets have been home to merchants, revolutionaries and artists since the city began life as a world class centre for industry. Today it is the cultural hub of the city with a diverse population of artists working across disciplines in visual, literary and performing arts, and the creative industries. They sit alongside a thriving range of bars, restaurants and hotels, and of course St Anne’s Cathedral itself. 

Cotton Court Managed Workspace, Belfast. Credit: www.bpw.org.uk.

The Cathedral Quarter also has three Managed Workspaces, which offer office, studio and commercial spaces. CQT is eager to learn how these buildings are perceived and understood.

CQT supports the crucial balance of arts, creative industries and business interests in the Quarter, and promotes the historic and cultural appeal of the area. The Trust is asking for your participation to gather information about visiting, or living and working in the Quarter.

Please follow the link below to take part. Comments can be made about a specific location in the Cathedral Quarter by dropping a pin onto the map at that point, you can leave as many comments as you like.

Contribute at this link: https://thecathedralquarter.commonplace.is/
For more information please email info@cqtrust.org or phone 028 9031 4011.

Relaunch of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation NI Branch - Thursday 12 November, 5pm

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) in Northern Ireland will relaunch on Thursday 12 November 2014 at Clifton House, Clifton Street, Belfast.

Clifton House. Credit: www.panoramio.com/photo/3400930

5.00pm: Arrival & Coffee
5.30pm: Welcome - What the IHBC can do for you
5.50pm: AGM: Branch updates and voting in the committee
6.00pm: Talks from Dawson Stelfox & Alastair Coey
6.45pm: Discussion
7.00pm: Close and canapes

To reserve your place please email Kate Kendall - LETS@ihbc.org.uk.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lecture: Modern schools in Belfast: The work of RS Wilshere | Thursday 23 October 6pm - 7.30pm

Modern schools in Belfast: The work of RS Wilshere is an illustrated talk by Dr. Paul Larmour, Architectural Historian & Reader in Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast. Dr Larmour will explore the work of the English-born Belfast architect, RS Wilshere who is best remembered for his Belfast schools of the 1920s and 1930s. Overseeing the design and construction of 26 new schools, Wilshere was recognised in his time as having designed the first modern schools anywhere in Ireland. 




Modern schools in Belfast: The work of RS Wilshere is part of Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014 a series of events celebrating modernist architecture in Northern Ireland as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens inspired by this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale and the British Pavilion’s A Clockwork Jerusalem. In partnership with & supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council. For more information on Absorbing Modernity events please visit the Belfast Festival at Queens website.

Date: Thursday 23 October
Time: 6pm - 7.30pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Ulster Museum
Booking: No registration necessary. Free to attend.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Clockwork Venice - Life at the 2014 Venice Biennale

By: Eve Russell (PLACE - Invigilator, Venice Biennale 2014)


A Clockwork Venice – Life at the Venice Biennale 2014
By: Eve Russell (PLACE - Invigilator, Venice Biennale 2014)

Venice City  - A wannabe Venetian
image credit: Eve Russell
Spending a month in Venice working at the Venice Biennale was an exciting, educative and vibrant experience! While tarmac roads and cars dominate the urban form of most cities, green sea water filled canals and boats dominate Venice. Residents live under the magical spell of silence each night, as the noise curfew is enforced, giving the city a movie-set like atmosphere, as the dimly lit narrow stone streets float in silence until the burning red suns rises in the morning to spring life onto the streets once again.
While Venice is populated with just over 60,000 residents, the tourism culture is immensely evident from its streets. Along with the 7 other fellows working at the British Pavilion, I dodged my way through thousands of tourists while crossing over the Venetian bridges on route to work each morning. People are curious about Venice, its architecture, its geography and its charm. It is through getting lost in the narrow, shoulder-width streets of Venice that you truly learn what is so charming about the city, you see how residents live. School playgrounds are elevated above street level, bordered with colourful fencing and the buildings are reusable, adaptable and often have had more than one function in their lifetime.

“Fundamentals” – The 14th Architecture Venice Biennale 2014
Before embarking on the journey from Dublin to Venice, I found it difficult to imagine what the Biennale would be like. Upon our first day of collecting our steward passes we entered into this garden of architecture - The Giardini, where we worked at the British Pavilion for a month. The main pavilion directed by Rem Koolhaas, explores the 16 ”Elements of Architecture”, looking at key moments in history that each element has featured; showing how architectural elements often provide a platform for political proclamation, royal and religious moments and everyday life. The Arsenale hosts the other portion of countries participating in the Architecture Biennale. The “Monditalia” exhibition explores architecture across Italy, through architectural designs and the visual arts such as film and dance, using the elements such as the ceiling, wall, door and stair to display them.




“A Clockwork Jerusalem” – The British Pavilion 
The British Pavilion responded to the theme set by Rem Koolhaas “Absorbing Modernity”. Entitled “A Clockwork Jerusalem” the exhibition made reference to the movie “A Clockwork Orange”  and William Blake’ s poem, “Jerusalem”. The Modern Movement within Britain between 1914 and 2014 is explored, referencing the cause of Modernism within Britain and the journey taken until 2014. The post-war state of Britain left a lot of destruction, poverty and homelessness. This needed to be addressed and in order to move forward, people looked to new ways of designing architecture, housing and urban form. 

The introduction of Modern social housing such as Robin Hood Gardens, Hulme Housing Development and Thamesmead (which featured in the movie A Clockwork Orange) all proposed an alternative way of living. Cars and the mechanisation of buildings became a key feature in many of these new housing developments, incorporating central communal green spaces to be used by the residents, improving their quality of life and utilising the ruins of the destroyed terraced housing. Satellite towns such as Milton Keynes were developed and used to move people from the city centres, hoping to reduce poverty and provide new starts, while being connected by the “concrete” motorways.

Finding Jerusalem – what happens after Modernism?
After many of the new housing developments failed to function for their original use, because of poor building standards, health and safety issues, industrialisation and post-industrialisation, the people that inhabited them were left once again without a home, with depleting standards of living and little hope for the future in a recession. However, as Modernism in Britain grew from the ruins of a broken Britain, the ruins of Modernism can be used to construct a new future for Britain, a new hope, a New Jerusalem.


For more information on PLACE's involvement with this year's Venice Biennale, search the Absorbing Modernity programme at the Belfast Festival at Queens





Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Ulster Museum: 1914-2014: Evolution amidst Revolution

Ulster Museum: 1914-2014: Evolution amidst Revolution is an exhibition, curated by Rosaleen Hickey, celebrating the architectural history of the Ulster Museum over the last 100 years.




Featuring rarely seen archival drawings, photographs and footage of the museum, the exhibition sheds new light on one of Belfast’s most iconic buildings. The Ulster Museum: 1914-2014: Evolution amidst Revolution is part of Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014 a series of events celebrating modernist architecture in Northern Ireland as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens inspired by this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale and the British Pavilion’s A Clockwork Jerusalem.

The exhibition opens on Friday 17 October, 6pm - 8pm in the Belfast Room at the Ulster Museum. All welcome and refreshments served. Tours take place 23 & 30 October at 1pm from the atrium led by architectural historian and exhibition curator, Rosaleen Hickey. Exhibition continues until Saturday 1 November (Closed Mondays).

In partnership with the Ulster Museum & supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council.

For more information on Absorbing Modernity events please visit the Belfast Festival at Queens website.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Fundamentally Biennale

(2014 International Architecture Biennale, Venice)
By: Eve Russell (PLACE - Invigilator, Venice Biennale 2014)

The Architecture Biennale takes place every two years in Venice, with a range of countries that have permanent pavilions in the Biennale Park designing an exhibition that responds to a common theme. The 2014 Biennale is curated and directed by Rem Koolhaas, an award-winning Dutch architect. The title he has set for this year is “Fundamentals” and the theme is “Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014”. 

Each country that has a pavilion in the Biennale Park has designed an exhibition that responds to the 2014 theme, which is show-cased during the Biennale festival that runs from June-November 2014.
The British Pavilion is being curated by FAT Architecture and Crimson Architectural Historians, who have entitled the British Pavilion Exhibition “A Clockwork Jerusalem”. The exhibition explores modernist architecture within the United Kingdom, documenting the UK’s response to the modernist movement.

This year, the British Council funded a fellowship programme for 50 fellows from various universities and organisations throughout the UK to invigilate the British Pavilion. They have also added a new dimension to the invigilating programme, with a 12-day research programme included as part of the invigilating role. Each fellow has the opportunity to design their own short research project to explore while in Venice. I am PLACE’s representative and will be invigilating at the British Pavilion exhibition for a month this summer.

A training programme took place in April this year, with 45 of the fellows meeting at the Barbican in London to embark on a series of tours, talks and discussions about the Biennale. This was a great opportunity to meet the other invigilators and learn about something we are all passionate about. The training days involved staying at Balfron Tower, a modernist residential tower block designed by Ernő Goldfinger in the 1960s, artists and residents still live in the tower.  We explored many parts of London, including other residential modernist buildings such as Robin Hood Gardens, and public spaces, Crisp Street Market and Festival of Britain Park. Stratford, the Olympic Park was also part of our exploration, seeing how Britain designs in 2014.


The Venice Biennale this year is about “architecture, not architects” according to Rem Koolhaas and will be an investigation into the history of architecture, of what has been built. The biennale not only considers how countries have absorbed modernity, but people and societies, also. Visiting the biennale is an opportunity to “absorb” the architecture and culture of many countries as well as absorbing Venice, a city literally flooded in architectural, artistic and social heritage.

For more information on PLACE's involvement with this year's Venice Biennale, search the Absorbing Modernity programme at the Belfast Festival at Queens


NI Changing Gear - Thursday 16 October, 9am - 4.30pm

The Department for Regional Development's Cycling Unit invite you to 'NI Changing Gear'. This one day event will feature international speakers exploring possibilities to transform Northern Ireland into a modern, vibrant, healthy cycling society. The opening address will be delivered by DRD Minister Danny Kennedy.

'Changing Gear' seeks to raise awareness of and encourage participation with the consultation process for the draft Bicycle Strategy for Northern Ireland.


NI Changing Gear

Date: Thursday 16 October
Time: 9am - 4.30pm
Venue: Assembly Buildings Conference Centre, The Spires, 2 - 10 Fisherwick Place, Belfast



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 following the success of the 2013 series.

‘Issues Now coffee-­‐time debates’ will take place in the public forum of the Black Box café on Hill Street, and are open to practising members of the professional disciplines in the design of the built environment, and other individuals and parties involved in the design of the built environment.

The debates take place between representatives of organisations with remit relating to the design of the built environment, who are invited to discuss the issues that cause them significant concern relating to the design of the built environment.


2014 ISSUES NOW SERIES

Wednesdays from 10.30am - 12pm in the Black Box, Hill Streeet, Belfast

Wed 24 September
  • Emily Smyth, Series Coordinator
  • Forum for Alternative Belfast - Mark Hackett, Director

Wed 1 October
  • Royal Society of Ulster Architects - Martin Hare, President
  • Landscape Institute - Pete Mullin, Policy Consultant
  • Belfast Healthy Cities - Laura Macdonald, Health Development Officer

Wed 8 October
  • Institution of Civil Engineers - Richard Kirk, Regional Director 
  • Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management - Paul Lynas, Irish Section Committee
  • Ulster Wildlife Trust - Conor McKinney, Living Landscapes Manager

15 October - 5 November: No sessions

Wed 12 November
  • PLACE - Michael Corr, Creative Director
  • Friends of the Earth - James Orr, Northern Ireland Director 
  • Architect and philosopher - Bill Thompson

Wed 19 November
  • Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture and the Built Environment in Northern Ireland - Arthur Acheson, Chair
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors - Neil Johnston, Public Policy Officer
  • Sustainable NI - Jim Kitchen, Director

Wed 26 November
  • Institution of Civil Engineers - Richard Kirk, Regional Director 
  • Royal Town Planning Institute - David Mounstephen, Chairman 
  • Climate NI - Jane McCullough, Project Officer

Wed 3 December
  • Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture and the Built Environment in Northern Ireland - Alwyn Riddell, Member
  • Construction Industry Group of Northern Ireland - Gordon Best, Executive Officer
  • Northern Ireland Environment Link - Stephen McCabe, Senior Policy Officer

Wed 10 December
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors - Patrice Cairns, Policy Manager
  • Royal Town Planning Institute - Claire Williamson, Policy Officer 
  • Police Service of Northern Ireland - Kenny McHugh, Crime Prevention Design Advisor

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.