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Tom Cookson, Francesca Cocchiara and Sergios Strigklogiannis have been selected for the IAF and dpr-barcelona LINA Writing Award 2023.
Through our membership in the new European LINA Community (which stands for Learning, Interacting and Networking in Architecture), the Irish Architecture Foundation joined forces with architecture research and publishing practice dpr-barcelona in summer 2022 to invite applications for an architectural writing grant to produce new work. This is the first of three annual writing grants that we will support through the LINA programme.
We are delighted to announce that the inaugural LINA Writing Award recipients are Tom Cookson for his project Shallow Time: The Burren and Francesca Cocchiara and Sergios Strigklogiannis for their project Urban Mythologies.
These recipients were chosen based on the creative strength of their proposed writing projects and their interest in writing and communicating architecture in a critical way. Shallow Time and Urban Mythologies set out to explore landscapes and urban realities through new narratives, storytelling, myths and fictions that support clean, circular and sustainable built environments.
Lina Writing Award 1: Shallow Time: The Burren by Tom Cookson. This award will facilitate the creation of a strong and rich multi-layered text, inspired, informed and shaped by the karst landscape of the Burren in the West of Ireland. Cookson suggests that this environment and ecosystem have much to teach us: “The Burren can teach us lessons about managing and inhabiting a fragile environment, the resilience of the natural world, and an architectural attitude for building in such places.” Cartographer Tim Robinson’s work will be a guide for structuring the study and supporting an understanding of place, as Cookson proposes to reveal the mysteries and depth of this unique landscape. In addition, the proposed text will raise awareness of the Burren ecosystem, both nationally within Ireland and internationally.
Lina Writing Award 2: Urban Mythologies by Francesca Cocchiara and Sergios Strigklogiannis. This project is sensitive to the need for new narratives to describe contemporary urban challenges, moving away from conventional dichotomies. Cocchiara and Strigklogiannis consider complexities and differences when addressing the spatial manifestations of inequality, urban poverty, gentrification, spatial injustice and the citizen initiatives defending the urban commons in Athens and elsewhere. Urban Mythologies will bring cultural sensitivity and creative, myth-making flair to address these issues in an imaginative and potentially transformative way. Believing in the power of storytelling, their intent is to reveal otherwise invisible urban issues and narrate them through the city’s untold stories, myths, and tales.
As LINA Writing Award recipients, Tom Cookson, Francesca Cocchiara and Sergios Strigklogiannis will contribute to a resonant and reasoned dialogue between emerging creatives, enhancing collaboration and knowledge exchange in the process.
The IAF and dpr-barcelona will publish their proposed works in May 2023 in print and digital formats, making their words and ideas heard within the European architecture community. We will also support the writers’ development through the process of working with professional editors, copy-editors, designers, and publishers, actively discussing how books are conceived, produced, and promoted and how to ensure they are not merely products but tools for discussion and spaces of encounter.
We in the IAF and dpr-barcelona seek to promote emergent voices that will enrich the panorama of architectural thinking. We have selected emerging writers with exciting projects and high potential and will immerse them in a collaborative environment to develop their cultural projects within the LINA programme’s parameters.
We look forward to sharing their works with you in May!
Tom Cookson is an Associate in Hall McKnight’s Cork office, currently leading housing, public realm and cultural projects within Ireland. He taught at the Welsh School of Architecture in 2020 and is a returning critic at architecture schools in the UK and Ireland. In collaboration with Sarah Carroll, Tom was announced runner up in a two-stage RIBA International competition in 2020, and they are currently exhibiting in the IAF’s Housing Unlocked exhibition at the Science Gallery Dublin. Tom’s writing has been published by Drawing Matter, and his thesis project at the Manchester School of Architecture was shortlisted for the RIBA Silver Medal.
Francesca Cocchiara is an architect from Cagliari, Italy. Having lived and worked in many international cities, she has developed a strong interest in how people shape their own environment and how the environment shapes people. Sergios Strigklogiannis is an architect from Rhodos, Greece and researcher at the National Technical University of Athens, focusing on the urban commons, collective memory, and participatory urbanism. They live and work in Athens, the city that inspired them to analyse complex urban realities and diverse imaginaries.
Photos: (left) The Burren, courtesy of Tom Cookson. (right) Psirri, Athens, January 2022, courtesy of Sergios Strigklogiannis, with mural: INO (2020) Apocalypse Now.