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2020 Programme Announcement Digital Archive Learning Public realm Talk

Project 20×20 – A Year Like No Other


Project 20×20 is an online initiative prompted by circumstances presented by the outbreak of Covid-19. The project will help form a new overview of our relationship with architecture and with the communities that architecture serves.

Here at the Irish Architecture Foundation we are slowly getting our heads around the ‘new normal’. Just a few short weeks ago we were optimistically launching our 15th birthday programme of talks, international exchange and exhibitions. It goes without saying that these events – in their physical format – will be deferred until we can meet again in person.

But that is not to say that we can’t continue to connect and exchange ideas through online platforms –and that’s precisely what we plan to do over the months ahead through Project 20×20 – A Year Like No Other.

The IAF’s mission is to champion the power of architecture to transform lives and improve the places where we live, learn, work and play. The nature and intent of the organisation still stands as we all look at our relationship with our built environment from a new perspective.

Our public realm is temporarily limited to 2km, giving us a totally new appreciation and perspective of the towns, villages or cities that we inhabit. Similarly, being confined to our homes has meant that we have adapted them into work, entertainment, school and care spaces. Our relationship with our internal and external space has been utterly transformed overnight. This is the field of possibility for Project 20×20.

Project 20×20 is an online initiative that will deliver content that is responsive, engaging and stimulating, under the theme of Respond and Profile. Respond shares 20 X reactions to the new reality and our changing relationship with space  and Profile showcases the work of 20 X architects and creative happenings.

For Project 20×20 content we have looked to three key sources.

We will collaborate with our community and share ideas relevant and essential to the unprecedented times we live in. This will be an appropriate response to our current reality as we use this time to take stock, research and evaluate the potential of architecture and its connection to society. We expect it to generate conversation and exciting perspectives on our relationship with the spaces that we live in, and the built environment within our newly defined world, and crucially what role architecture plays when we come out of it.

We possess a store of ‘never been seen before’ content that has been patiently waiting for its online debut. This includes filmed interviews with current Irish architects; a performance merging architecture, literature and music; and fresh work created by architects and transition year students just before the schools unexpectedly closed.

We have been burrowing through the IAF’s rich archive of recorded talks, featuring global thinkers on architecture and cities. We will collate this content and gradually reintroduce it to you. 

Without doubt, however, the most important part of Project 20×20 will be the bold responses that will be generated by you. How are you reassessing your built environment through the prism of Covid-19? What role does architecture play during an emergency such as this, and how might that role alter in future?

Project 20×20 will help form a new overview of our relationship with architecture and with the communities that architecture serves.


Project 20×20 – A Year Like No Other was the brainchild of Maya McClelland. We would like to acknowledge her inventiveness.