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The IAF Reimagine… programme is a new initiative by the IAF that seeks to embolden communities to create inspiring places and spaces.
Reimagine… acknowledges that no one has more expertise of a place than the people who live there and it enables these local citizens to engage with and effect change within their local neighbourhoods with the help of architecture, design and built environment professionals, facilitated by the IAF.
Reimagine… takes its cue from the IAF’s strategic objective to enable citizens to contribute and improve their built environment and to develop practice in this area among architects. Reimagine… is our most ambitious means of doing so to date. Utilising national networks of community groups, local authorities, communities of interest and the Creative Ireland cultural teams we have embarked on a programme of projects which seek to engage people with their local environments and collaborate with architects, designers and artists to affect positive change.
Reimagine… ensures that the communities needs are at the core of the outcome, be it as simple as a need for more benches for an ageing community, a safe welcoming place for younger people to meet, a temporary pavilion or intervention or even an annual event or festival to celebrate and reconnect the community. The IAF will provide the expertise, connections, facilitation and intervention to ‘reimagine’ their area,
Since its foundation in 2005, the IAF has worked with communities of place and interest in the capital city and beyond to explore issues and affect change in the built environment. Reimagine… is the institutional culmination of our deep knowledge and experience in this field. We plan to spend the next two years enabling 10 new communities achieve their dreams, while also ensuring the IAF establishes this type of activity as core to its mission. We are building on the many projects over the years that have achieved this objective, for example we have worked with children to design a play park in Killybegs Playpark, Donegal, we have consulted young people on their local environment in Fingal, Co. Dublin, we have examined public space with older people in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and in 2019 we break ground on a play, skate and BMX park in Ballyfermot, West Dublin, designed in close collaboration with the community and financed by Dublin City Council and the Matheson Foundation.
So far, through Reimagine…2019 programme we are working with a community group Imagine Dundrum to include the voices of children and young people in the Local Area Plan for Dundrum in Co. Dublin. We are also working with the civic and cultural institutions in Tallaght to ‘melt the walls’ between the institutions and their nearest neighbours, activating the public realm in between. This involves working with South Dublin County Arts Office, County Library, Rua Red, Civic Theatre and the Architects’ Office to better connect cultural and civic institutions, residents and the public realm in Tallaght town.
We are planning significant community engagement followed by a designed intervention/activation/happening in the public realm in 2019. More information on the Reimagine project, the next stages of the project and how to submit a project to be considered can be found below