Friday, 28 February 2014

£11,000 prize fund launched by Carnegie UK Trust to help improve Northern Ireland’s public spaces

The Carnegie UK Trust is calling on local communities across Northern Ireland to play a greater role in the development and design of their local area.

To help, an £11k pot of funding is being made available with the launch of the first ever Carnegie Prize for Design and Wellbeing.

Successful applicants will each receive a share of the prize money as they make their plans a reality; three runners-up prizes of £2,500 will be awarded, with the overall winner receiving £3,500.

The prize has been launched in partnership with the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) and the Royal Incorporation of Architects Scotland (RIAS) and will celebrate how well designed public spaces, created with and for local people, can improve local resident’s health, provide new spaces for people to meet and promote community enterprise and regeneration. 

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Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie UK Trust, explains more: “The strong link between the quality of our local environment and our wellbeing means that much of the Trust’s work over the last 100 years has been about improving access to quality public spaces. The launch of this new Prize comes on the back of research we carried out which found that community-led action can really help bring about positive change to local areas. It’s been well documented that a poor quality local environment can have a detrimental effect on community wellbeing, impacting on issues such as health, safety and community spirit.”

“This challenge is about improving the lives of people across Northern Ireland and we hope the funding helps stimulate ideas, creativity and above all encourages communities to come together to think of ways they can improve their surroundings.”

Winning projects should demonstrate how good design can create opportunities for improved health, local regeneration, skills development, community enterprise or social interaction.

The competition is open to any community group or registered charity-led project that will improve a publically accessible space, such as a pathway, or park and that will be completed before the end of September 2014.

Martyn, continued: “This is an opportunity for communities to help turn ideas into reality, or provide a welcome boost to complete an existing project. We wish applicants the very best of luck!”

The winning projects will be announced at the 2014 RIAS convention on 16 May 2014 which will take place in Glasgow.

Alan Jones, President of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA), said: ‘This is a tremendous recognition of the importance of quality urban spaces to people’s lives. We are very enthusiastic about the potential of this great initiative.’

The Carnegie Prize for Design and Wellbeing is open to those located in Scotland and Northern Ireland. For more information about the prize, criteria and how to enter please visit: and-wellbeing. The closing date is 12 noon on 17 March 2014.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Know Your Place | Free digital training workshops exploring built heritage

Capture and explore local built heritage through digital media.

Tuesday 4 March / Cultúrlann, Falls Road
Wednesday 5 March / Donegall Pass Community Forum, Donegall Pass
Tuesday 11 March / Indian Community Centre, Clifton Street
Wednesday 12 March / East Belfast Network Centre, Templemore Avenue

Register free online at this link.

Lunch and refreshments provided. Project supported by Belfast City Council.

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

2ha Magazine - Exploring the notion of the suburb

2ha - A recently launched independent journal plans to explore the notion of the suburb and its relationship to fields such as mapping, photography, language and typology. 

There is a value in suburbia the remains overlooked.  
It is a landscape of faded aristocratic homes surrounded by encroaching housing estates.
It is a field where farmyards sit beside shopping centres.
Quotes from:

2ha - Exploring the suburb.

Issue five / suburbia + language - considers the relationship between language and suburban space. Three essays respond to the fractured process of translation that has come to define the territory of suburbia. 

  • Liam Mac Mathúna (Professor UCD) outlines a history of linguistic change in the Dublin area, describing how preceding eras of colonisations and cultures have renamed, subverted and built upon a place and its people. 
  • Emma Geoghegan (architect/lecturer DIT) documents the absence of a vocabulary in both the imagination and critique of space on the urban-rural fringe, suggesting that a consideration of this landscape as an independent territory might begin a means of understanding its unique conditions. 
  • Isobel NÍ Riain (lecturer UCC) reveals how a reading of place-names, in the now suburbanised area of Little Island on the edge of Cork city, can tell of a long history of occupation; one whose built form is often subsumed by the office parks and semi-ds of the immediate present.

To view Issue 05 and all previous issues, or to make a purchase, please visit

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

ARCSOC Film Night at SARC | 17 February, 5.30pm

ArcSoc will host a Movie Night in the Sonic Arts Research Centre on 17th February, 5.30pm. Stephen Douglas (Architect, Hall Black Douglas) and Chris Corrigan (SARC Technician) will each deliver a short lecture followed by a screening of 'The Third Man'.

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QUB SPACE: Inaugural Lecture - Prof. Geraint Ellis | Wed 12 Feb, 5pm

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Court overturns the DoE's decision to approve demolition of Swanston's linen warehouse

The decision to allow demolition of Swanston's linen warehouse, Queen Street, Belfast has been overturned by Mr Justice Treacey at judicial review. 

Swanston's linen warehouse, Belfast. Credit:

The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society who brought the legal action state that:
"This is a significant ruling; it reaffirms the importance of applying planning policy thoroughly in Northern Ireland’s Conservation Areas, recognising their contribution to the built environment and defending their unique character. Without good planning policies and their proper application and enforcement the heritage streetscape that gives Northern Ireland its unique character will be diminished by design that has neither a cultural or historic relationship with its locality. Conservation Areas are special places with enormous potential to create long-term economic prosperity. In order to realise that potential, those charged with looking after them need to defend buildings of character, such as this 19th century warehouse.  We trust that this will set an example for the new councils and that they will have the vision to ensure these finite assets are not further diminished, but are retained and put to productive uses."

To find out more about Swanston's linen warehouse and the work of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society visit:

For A Better Bangor Public Engagement Events

For A Better Bangor (FABB) is a residents’ lobby group, formed in June 2009. The group aims to encourage positive re-development of Bangor's town centre and seafront.

Queen's Parade site. Credit:

In December 2013 the group received support from the NIEA NGO Challenge Fund to deliver a series of public engagement events. The first of these events will take place on Thursday 13 February at 7.30pm upstairs in the Red Berry, Main Street, Bangor (tea, coffee and refreshments provided). All ideas are welcome at this event and FABB encourage as many people as possible to attend. To confirm attendance or find out more please email: [email protected]

The series of events will continue with a walking tour on Sunday 2nd March, 3pm. Booking essential - more details to follow.

Two further evening engagement events will take place at the Red Berry, Main Street, Bangor on Thursday 13 March, 7.30pm and Thursday 3 April, 7.30pm. FABB hope that these events will generate constructive discussion and seek to gather as many views and ideas as possible, to then present to the agencies responsible for the regeneration of Bangor.

A community design workshop is also proposed for March. More details to follow.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


Conor Busuttil is a 24 year old Illustrator from County Down. He is passionate about children's picture books as he explains: "I enjoy the many twists and turns the story book can take you, seeking it out as an opportunity to express and release the imagination. I find it hard to find the boundaries of work and pleasure, as both are so closely knit.” Having been accepted for a six month placement with PLACE Conor began working closely with our somewhereto_ project to deliver somewhereto_re:store in Bangor's High Street.

re:store aimed to highlight the opportunities for creative young people to take up vacant space in our town centres - developing skills whilst also bringing activity to the high street. somewhereto_ connected creative young people with a vacant property and encouraged a creative environment in which they could showcase their talents and develop valuable skills. re:store directly addressed the high levels of youth unemployment and vacant retail units across the UK and successfully facilitated a number of youth-led enterprise projects.

Conor believes that “creative young people are a vital part of the social development of any community, from the styles of clothes we wear to the advertising on your cereal box, from the expression of both passion and human emotion to the pictures we educate our children with".

Whilst on placement Conor has developed a new hand-drawn banner for the PLACE blog. Conor's placement has also provided him with an opportunity to develop his own illustration based project. "I am Illustrator" will provide opportunities and a platform for young illustrators like Conor. Experienced illustrators will join with young talent within a vacant retail unit in Belfast city centre for a live drawing event, exhibition and series of public talks.

Conor is currently finalising plans for the project and information will be available at the somewhereto_ NI webpage shortly:

Monday, 3 February 2014