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Books Downstairs: Dublin Exchange and Soil Lab
Irish Architecture Foundation, Bachelors Walk, North City, Dublin 1, Ireland
In chapter 2 of Books Downstairs, come and hear Ruth O’Herlihy, Eibhlín Ní Chathasaigh and James Albert Martin discuss their new books in conversation with architect and architectural historian Livia Hurley.
Both books deal with cities – Dublin and Chicago. The books anticipate a conversation on how we come to know a city and the reciprocal exchange that happens between people and the cities in which they live and in which architects and others act.
Dublin Exchange, the second publication in the Exchange Series, responds to a specific moment in the city’s architecture history. In 2021, architect Niall McCullough (1958–2021) died. McCullough was one of Dublin city’s most significant writers on architecture and the city. For Dublin’s citizens, architects, and writers, his was a significant legacy of research, history, passion, intelligence, and argument for Dublin. The ‘exchange’ of the book’s title makes reference to the work of McCullough but projects forward with words and photographs reflecting aspects of Dublin today.
Soil Lab: A Built Experiment is a critical reflection on the making of Soil Lab, a project built with a community in North Lawndale, Chicago, and hosted by the Danish Arts Foundation at the 2021 edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The pages give space to a conversation that stretches far outside both the confines of the Soil Lab’s site in North Lawndale and the short duration of the biennial. The book is a meeting place for the voices which contributed to the Soil Lab project, and it maps their constellation of disciplines — across architecture, art, anthropology, ecology, craft and community work — and global geographies, including the US, Denmark, Ireland, Puerto Rico and Austria. The story of the project, and the many lives and threads that it brushed up against, is told through histories, criticism, photographic essays, instruction manuals, soil recipes and interviews.
This is chapter 2 of Books Downstairs, a new series of conversations on books about architecture, organised and hosted by the Irish Architecture Foundation.
It is free to attend, but space is limited. Book early to secure your place!
Photo courtesy of Eibhlín Ní Chathasaigh and James Albert Martin.
Ruth O’ Herlihy is a Director of McCullough Mulvin Architects and has worked closely with the founding partners since commencing across all strands of work in the office. Primarily a leader in practice, O’Herlihy has led many of McCullough Mulvin’s built projects, accumulating a series of awards both nationally and internationally. She has contributed across multiple platforms including competitions, writings and discussions as well as lecturing on the work of the practice in Ireland, the UK, Europe, North America and Asia. She is a Design Fellow in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy in University College Dublin. O’Herlihy lives with her family in a modernist house designed by her grandparents Alan and Máirín Hope.
Eibhlín Ní Chathasaigh is a registered architect with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. She teaches in the architecture schools at both University College Dublin and Technological University Dublin. Since graduating from the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, she has worked at Atelier Peter Zumthor in Switzerland and Grafton Architects in Dublin, Ireland. Eibhlín is interested in the social act of architecture and design as a collaborative conversation.
James Albert Martin is a registered architect with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and Grade 3 Accredited in Architectural Conservation. He has taught at the Aarhus School of Architecture and at University College Dublin, where he is currently a Design Fellow. James is interested in the act of making, and his work is informed by this collaborative act. James holds an MA from the Aarhus School of Architecture and has also undertaken courses in joinery at Capellagården, a school for craft and design. Since graduating he has worked with international studios Sou Fujimoto Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, and Grafton Architects. In 2018, James, Eibhlín and Anne Dorte participated in REFORM Design Biennale with their collaboration Woven Construct, a seat, a screen, a space, which they constructed in the garden of Munkeruphus, north of Copenhagen.
Livia Hurley is an architect and architectural historian and holds a PhD from University College Dublin. Her practice encompasses architectural and urban history, conservation, and education, and she is engaged in both independent and collaborative work with architectural practices and local government. Research, writing and editing form a fundamental part of this practice and she has published widely on Irish architecture over the past twenty years. Her current research interests include twentieth-century urban settlement in Spain and architecture as film-set. She is a Revelstoke Trustee of Lambay Island in county Dublin.