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Thursday, 26 March 2009

PLACE presents: The Lives of Spaces


The 9th Jameson Belfast Film Festival launches tonight, with the Irish premiere of Little Ashes at the Movie House, Dublin Road.

Next Wednesday, April 1st, as part of the festival, PLACE is proud to present a screening of the films from The Lives of Spaces, Ireland's entry at the 11th Venice Biennale of Architecture. Curators of the project, Nathalie Weadick, Irish Architecture Foundation and Hugh Campbell, University College Dublin will precede the screening with a talk about curating and communicating architecture through film, and in particular, they will speak about their involvement in curating The Lives of Spaces.

For each of the nine spaces explored in these films, life is at a different stage. Some are still in various stages of design and construction, some are only beginning to be inhabited, while others have already accumulated long histories of occupation and, in one case, are about to fall finally out of use.

TICKETS: £5 (limited numbers remaining)
Box office: Belfast Welcome Centre, 47 Donegall Place, Belfast BT1 5AD
Phone: (028) 9024 6609
Book online: Click here

More info
- Belfast Film Festival
- Irish Times: Dali and 50 dead men for Belfast festival
- The Lives of Spaces
- Venice Biennale

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Public art design contest for Fountain Street



News from our very own Fountain Street, where DSD are commissioning "an outstanding artist to design and arrange the production, delivery and installation of a major piece of public art to be located in Fountain Street, as part of the Belfast Streets Ahead project. The commission is to create a permanent contemporary landmark as an integrated part of the refurbishment of the Fountain Street area."

The budget is £100,000 with the possibility of an additional £50,000 being allocated.

The deadline for responses is 20 April 2009 - those interested in applying can find more information here.

Off to the Arbeitsamt



With the number of architects claiming benefits rising by 760% in the year to February 2009, Owen Hatherly looks for Soul on the Dole in Building Design (20/03/09).

Meanwhile, Jonathan Glancey looks at the reasons for "a record number of British students...applying to study architecture" in the Guardian (20/03/09).

Guardian: Architect job losses soar as crunch hits construction
Irish Times: Architects, solicitors, IT specialists are part of a new wave of young professionals signing on at social welfare offices
Owen Hatherly's blog: Sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Participate conference, Wed 25th March


Click to enlarge

Participate: Harnessing cultural value in tough economic times

Belfast City Council presents Participate, a one day conference aimed at the cultural sector on Wednesday 25th March 2009, in the Elmwood Hall, University Road, Belfast, from 9am - 5pm.

Facilitated by BBC’s Marie-Louise Muir (Arts Extra), Participate will question and explore how the value of culture and arts impacts on the regeneration of Belfast.
Motivational speakers include:


Paul Collard

Can we afford the arts anymore?
Paul Collard is National Director of Creative Partnerships and he commissioned the ‘Angel of the north’ sculpture in Newcastle-on-Tyne. He has 25 years experience of working in the arts and is an expert in delivering programmes that use creativity and culture as drivers of social and economic change.

How we value arts and culture
John Holden, an associate at the independent think tank Demos and a visiting professor at City University, London. He has been involved in numerous major projects with the cultural sector ranging across heritage, libraries, music, museums, the performing arts and the moving image.

Wolfgang Buttress, internationally renowned artist and commissioned by Belfast City Council for the landmark sculpture ‘Rise’ at Broadway roundabout in Belfast. Wolfgang will speak in conversation with Marie-Louise Muir about his monumental sculpture of 37.5m high which uses the principles and forms of Geodesic dome and is due to be completed by summer 2009. The sculpture will create a more attractive Belfast for its citizens.

The public value of cultural events
Greg Richards is a partner with Tourism Research and Marketing (TRAM), a consultancy specialising in tourism and events. He has worked extensively on the analysis and development of cultural and creative tourism in cities such as Barcelona, Edinburgh and Amsterdam.

BJ Cunningham is a serial entrepreneur and council member of Superbrands. He shows how authenticity is vital to build and retain customer loyalty and set up a brand marketing agency with major international clients. “Politically incorrect and electrifying. Our delegates loved him” – PR Week

Places are free but should be booked in advance. To book a place, please email culture@belfastcity.gov.uk or tel: (028) 9091 8734.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Google Street View comes to the UK


Bringing mapping to an entirely new level, Google Maps has introduced Street View, already established in the USA, into its UK maps.

So far in Northern Ireland, Belfast has the Street View feature; the plan seems to be to include all places eventually. South of the border, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford are all planned for inclusion.

To get started, try searching for a Belfast postcode on Google Maps, then drag the little Street View icon (below) onto the street you'd like to explore.


Street View on Wikipedia
BBC News: 'Google camera car hits the street'
BBC News: 'Manic street features'

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Follies Trust


Photo from the Follies Trust

Aiming to conserve, preserve, restore and protect "those joyful little buildings which aim to please", the Follies Trust works across the island of Ireland. Their current project is "to conserve and restore three grade B+ (equivalent 11*) listed mausolea in Knockbreda churchyard, Belfast" (pictured above).

The Trust also hosts lectures and events in Dublin, Lisburn and elsewhere - still to come in Spring 2009: a lecture by architect Andrew Cowser on Follies in the Twentieth Century (31st March), and a walk in Knockbreda graveyard with archaeologist Dr Finbar McCormick (30th April). More info here.

So you want to be an architect

American architect Doug Patt (YouTube channel) has created a series of videos for people considering architecture as a profession, or for those who are just curious.

So you want to be an architect
is a nicely put-together series of videos available for free on YouTube. Each episode starts out with a simple question ("What does an architect do?"; "What does an architect learn?"; "What does an architect ask?") which Patt answers with sketches, photographs and plenty of straightforward explanations.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Crumlin Road courthouse fire



Lots of coverage this morning of yesterday's fire at the disused Crumlin Road courthouse.

BBC News: Blaze destroyed 40% of courthouse
BBC News: Fire at landmark city courthouse (video)
BT: Blaze at old Crumlin Road Courthouse was arson
Lots of pictures on Flickr

RSUA president Dawson Stelfox profiled the Crumlin Road Jail and Courthouse on RTE Radio 1's Architect's Eye in April 2008 - the programme is available here (click 'Listen again to the programme' to listen).

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Perspective March/April issue out now


The new issue of Perspective, the journal of the RSUA, is out now.

Featuring case studies on the new wing of Altnagelvin Hospital and Four Corners, a travelogue on Venice and many more features and reviews, the March/April issue is now on sale at the PLACE Bookshop for £4. Back issues also available for £2 each.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Girli Concrete on the way to Derry Playhouse

Girli Concrete's showcase frieze was taken down from the Fabrication exhibition at PLACE this morning and is now on its way to be installed at the new Playhouse in Derry.

Keep track of the developments on the Girli Concrete blog.

Fabrication runs at PLACE until this Saturday 14th March!

Work on new Lyric Theatre underway


Above: the previous Lyric, before its demolition last year - photo source

Work has begun on the new Lyric Theatre on Ridgeway Street, off the Stranmillis Road.

More from the Belfast Telegraph.
Support the Lyric.

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces



Via kottke.org, a clip from William Whyte's 1988 film The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, which studied New York's plazas and the ways people used them. The narrator wonders whether "we could find out what it was that made the good ones work, and the others not..."

The book is on Amazon.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Late Night Art: Thursday 5th March 6 - 9pm


The Girli Concrete/Tactility Factory Fabrication exhibition is on show for tonight's Late Night Art @ PLACE, from 6 - 9pm.

The exhibition was also featured on this morning's Good Morning Ulster on BBC Radio Ulster: if you missed it you can listen again on the BBC's iPlayer for the next seven days. Rosy Billingham's interview with Trish Belford (above) starts around 1 hour 58 minutes in. You can also read an accompaniment piece to the interview on the BBC News website here.