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We’re delighted to announce that Róisín Cahill and Jessica Keller from the IAF Graduate Panel have been awarded Engaging with Architecture funding from the Arts Council for their project Unbuilt.ie.
The project was proposed and is coordinated by Jessica Keller and Róisín Cahill, who developed their application with mentoring from the IAF through their membership of the Graduate Panel.
We asked them to tell our audience what their project is about. Here’s what they said:
“Project Unbuilt was created after some engaging conversations on how we as Graduate Architects can meaningfully take part in architectural discourse.
“Carefully curated site-specific knowledge rests bound in architecture theses in academic institutions across the country, unknown to the communities they concern. Unbuilt.ie transcends the well established boundaries of discipline to share graduates’ ambitious reimaginings of locality, promoting a playful re-evaluation of a place through an online website. Unbuilt.ie harnesses an ever growing body of student work on an opt-in basis to promote an inclusive dialogue on our built environment forming new networks and strengthening relationships between graduate architectural work and local communities – connecting ideas, people and place.”
What do you hope the project will achieve?
Róisín states, “I think architecture theses have the potential to highlight the sometimes overlooked or forgotten values of a place. Architecture theses have a creative optimism undiluted by the constraints of construction and market viability, that although they may never be built, if shared, have the power to strengthen local pride and connection to place. I hope Unbuilt.ie can provide public access to a visual and written summary of such theses, empowering people to see new value in their surroundings while offering graduates an opportunity to have their voices heard.”
Jessica adds, “Róisín and I wanted to create a platform that enables young architects to explore and contribute to placemaking and community building through the dissemination of ideas. Communicating a reimagining of the locality to engage the local community is a task that is intrinsically linked to developing our understanding of Irish architectural discourse as graduate architects. I hope that this initiative will highlight the value of unbuilt architectural work and provide early-career architects with a means to strengthen placemaking.”
What does the funding mean to you?
“We are delighted to have been awarded funding by the Art’s Councils Engaging with Architecture Award. Both the Arts Council’s funding and the mentorship of the IAF will be so helpful in achieving the aims of Project Unbuilt!”
Any advice for other early career applicants?
“Advice for others applying for funding is to reach out to people who may be interested. We found discussing the proposal for Unbuilt.ie and hosting focus groups with potential users of the website very informative in refining the project proposal. The IAF Graduate Panel has been hugely helpful in the development of the project and the IAF’s mentorship will be a great resource moving forward.”
The IAF Graduate Panel was established during lockdown as a way for recent architecture graduates in Ireland to connect and learn from each other and the IAF during a time of isolation and of career development from college to work.
We look forward to working with Jessica and Róisín on the implementation of Project Unbuilt and hope this will lead to further successes for them and their peers!
Photo: Unbuilt workshop with the IAF Graduate Panel, led by Jessica Keller (standing second from right) and Róisín Cahill (standing far right).