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Ailbhe Cunningham

Ailbhe Cunningham is an architect in practice in Cork and a co-design Research Producer at Workhouse Union in Kilkenny.


Lughnasa marks the beginning of the harvest season; a time when people gather to celebrate the hard work of the year past and enjoy all of its fruitful bounties. 

Thanks to National Heritage Week, the August calendar listings speak true to this bountiful harvest quality. Taking place from August 13th – 20th, National Heritage Week includes hundreds of events focusing on the theme of ‘sustainability’. On August 18th the local community of St. Johnston, Donegal will launch an architectural conservation report for Kinny Call Hall. Currently in a state of disrepair and ruin, the value and potential of this single room stone structure is recognised by the local community. During the event the community will consult on the report recommendations that they would like to prioritise and see actioned.

Also included in the calendar is a screening of the film ‘Art School’ by Anna Lucas at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin. The screening is part of the ongoing programme ‘Art, Class and Politics: Explorations through Film’ curated by Alice Butler.  The film captures ephemeral moments of silence in otherwise bustling art room settings across schools in the United Kingdom. The frames are described by Melissa Gronlund as still, sculptural scenes ‘both about, and made up of, observation’ (Gronlund 2021). Perhaps the perfect lunchtime treat to close out a bustling, summer week? 

Finally I will draw attention to a rolling invitation at the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun. Tours of the Rediscovery Centre, which is located in a converted boiler house building, are available weekly. It is an exemplar of the possibilities for engaging meaningfully and sustainably with our existing built fabric. This is an ideal place to visit for all those enthusiastic about, and engaged in, finding new ways to upcycle and reactivate our existing material resources.

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