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Reimagine Masterclasses in Placemaking


The Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) is running a series of free, online masterclasses in placemaking for architects, local community representatives, local authority staff, councillors, stakeholders, community engagement and public art practitioners, representatives from cultural venues/organisations and others actively engaged in placemaking.

*** Registration for the Series has closed – become a Friend to be the first to hear about future CPD opportunities ***

Each masterclass will feature diverse modes of learning including presentations, case studies, break out groups and moderated discussions. It is possible to attend all three masterclasses or any combination of the series, as each session also works as a stand-alone training session. Each 2 hour Masterclass is worth 2 structured CPD points.

The Masterclass series is part of the IAF’s Reimagine programme, supported by Creative Ireland’s National Creativity Fund. Click here to learn more about Reimagine.

Wednesday 9 September 2020, 3-5 pm

Part 1: Place in Focus (25 mins) –  Le Fanu Skate and Play Park, Ballyfermot, Dublin (IAF Placemaking project), with Ger O’Reilly (Youth Work) and Rebecca Blake (Community Engagement).

Part 2: Topics in Focus
(1 hour with 3 x 10 min breakout sessions), with Wessel Badenhorst (Placemaking).
What is placemaking? Why are public spaces important? Principles of participatory placemaking. Playmaking as a form of placemaking. How do we harness stakeholder and community participation in design processes?

(5 mins)

Part 3: Theme in Focus (25 mins)
Building capacity for placemaking, with Alan Mee (Architecture and Urban Design). Presentation and discussion.

Wednesday 16 September 2020, 3-5 pm

Part 1: Place in Focus (25 mins) – Overview of IAF Reimagine towns (Kells, Loughrea, Letterkenny, Mohill, Kilrush and Tallaght) with Blaithin Quinn (Curator of Learning, IAF) and Bernadine Carroll (Engagement, IAF).

Part 2: Topics in Focus (1 hour with 2 x 10 min breakout sessions), with Wessel Badenhorst (Placemaking)
Analysis and observation of place. The Project for Public Spaces diagram as a diagnostic tool. Improving public spaces through co-creation. How can placemaking improve public spaces? Generating and testing ideas for placemaking – tapping into local knowledge and creativity.

Break (5 mins)

Part 3: Theme in Focus (25 mins) – Placemaking and the Irish Town, with Orla Murphy (Architecture and Public Engagement). Presentation and discussion.

Wednesday 23 September 2020, 3-5 pm

Part 1: Place in Focus (25 mins) Loughrea, Co.Galway (IAF Reimagine town) with BothAnd Group (Architecture and Ecology) and Mairin Doddy (Galway Co.Council

Part 2: Topics in Focus (1 hour with 2 x 10 min breakout sessions), with Wessel Badenhorst (Placemaking).
How can we best create shared visions for improvements to place? Programming (events and activities) in public space. Place management and stewardship. Civic responsibility. Placemaking and stakeholder buy-in.

Break (5 mins)

Part 3: Theme in Focus (25 mins)
Accessibility and Inclusion in Placemaking, with Emma Geoghegan (Architecture). Presentation and discussion.

Wessel Badenhorst, formerly an economic development officer in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, is a lead expert in the EU’s URBACT Programme that supports cities to work together on integrated urban development themes. In 2011, he completed a training course in New York with Project for Public Spaces (PPS) on Placemaking. Since then he conducted training workshops in a number of cities including during the URBACT Festival in Lisbon in 2018 and the Merging the Split Conference in Zadar in 2019. 

In 2020, together with international placemaking expert Cynthia Nikitin, he facilitated an online placemaking training programme in Cork City, with the participants in this 5 week programme ranging from Council officials, design professionals to community leaders. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Wessel came to Ireland in 2000 and lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow. He holds a MBA degree from Dublin City University together with degrees in Law and Psychology from the University of Pretoria.

Alan Mee is a built environment consultant, researcher, urban designer and architect working in urbanism, architecture, and education. He has published and spoken widely on spatial aspects of dramatic change in the Irish designed environment,  and is a part-time Senior Lecturer in urban design at the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, at University College Dublin. In 2017 he completed a PhD entitled: ‘Exploring, evaluating and visualising spatial complexity of urban sites’.

Orla Murphy is an architect, lecturer in UCD School of Architecture Planning and Environmental Policy and co-director (with Philip Crowe) of UCD Centre for Irish Towns (CfIT). Orla’s practice and research is focused on rural Irish towns, their cultural identity and morphology, and the relationship between people and place. As a former recipient of the Arts Council’s Kevin Kieran Award, Orla published her research on towns in TOWN: Origins, Morphology and Future in 2012. In 2018, Orla along with five colleagues co-curated Free Market, the Irish Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, with an exhibition that explored the past, present and future of public space in Irish towns. The exhibition toured to four towns: Castleblayney, Macroom, Mountmellick and Killmallock in 2019. Orla co-presents the RTÉ documentary series Building Ireland, now in its third series. She lives in Westport Co. Mayo and continues to advocate for towns as thriving people-centred urban places.

Emma Geoghegan is an architect, urban designer and educator engaged in the design of beautiful, purposeful and resilient places for people. Since 2007 her practice has focused on the design and delivery of residential, social care and educational buildings for people with a broad range of abilities and needs. In parallel her research and teaching practice has been driven by a commitment to the social purpose of architecture and inclusive design principles and embedding this in architectural education.

From 2007-2017 Emma was a partner in MEME Architecture a collaborative design practice working on projects in the UK and Ireland. Since 2017 Emma has continued to work in collaborative private practice and consultancy work in the areas of social inclusion and accessibility alongside her role as Chair of the Bachelor of Architecture programme at TU Dublin. She was Chairperson of Carlow Arts Festival from 2016-2020 and is a board member of Arts and Disability Ireland. 

Rebecca Blake’s curatorial and creative practice is focused on engaging people of all ages in art, architecture and place-making. She collaborates with artists, designers, young people, schools and community groups to design exciting and innovative creative experiences that are playful and inspire a greater sense of identity, ownership and citizenship. Rebecca currently works as a Creative Associate for the Arts Council Creative Schools programme. Previously she held the post of Education Curator for the Irish Architecture Foundation where she led the community engagement process and design competition for the Play Park in Ballyfermot. Before that Rebecca worked in London for the Tate galleries on various projects engaging young people and community groups in the Tate Collection and place-making both on and off site as well as online.

Ger O’Reilly
Ger O’Reilly is an outdoor education instructor working with Ballyfermot Youth Service. He facilitates the social and personal development of young people though sport and outdoor activities. He has been involved in the Le Fanu Skate and Play Park in Ballyfermot since the seeds of ideas were sown by the local community in 2011.

BothAnd Group
BothAnd Group is a research and spatial design collective that aims to broaden the scope of architectural practice in an age of ecological awareness. The primary motivation of their work is in understanding the behaviour of living systems, and in the design of environments that accommodate a more equal status between all forms of life.

Mairin Doddy
Biography to follow.

The Reimagine Masterclasses are brought to you free of charge by the IAF, supported by the Creative Ireland Programme’s National Creativity Fund. If you are thinking of booking a place we would appreciate it if you would consider making a donation to support our programme, or why not join the IAF as a Friend.