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Cormac Murray

Cormac Murray is an architect, lecturer in TU Dublin, and editor at TYPE. In 2021, he co-authored ‘The Dublin Architecture Guide 1937-2021’, published by The Lilliput Press. He has written for a number of architectural publications, including Architecture Ireland, house + design, and for the Phibsboro Press. Cormac’s new book ‘America at Home: The Architecture and Politics of the US Embassy in Dublin’, will be published later this year with the Phibsboro Press.

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Linkedin: Cormac Murray

Image credit: Ste Murray

As Rodgers and Hammerstein put it in 1945: “June is bustin’ out all over”. There is indeed a sense of euphoria and excitement as the summer approaches, sunny holidays and relaxation are within sight. A lot of communities in academia and architectural practice have been focused on the month of June, it’s a time to celebrate and show-off the hard work of the first half of the year.

If anyone else is frightened that we’re halfway through 2024, you might find some escapism in the work on show in the graduate architectural exhibitions. Exciting work will be displayed in the Cork Centre for Architectural Education, School of Architecture University of Limerick, South East Technological University, TU Dublin , University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast (to name but a few). Many of these shows will present forward-thinking responses to the issues of the climate and the housing crises, and showcase the best and brightest new graduates joining the architectural profession.

Perhaps offering new and diverse perspectives on an issue of obsession for architects, HOMESWEETHOME, hosted by the Museum of Literature Ireland, will delve deep into the concept of home. This festival runs from June 7th and 9th and features a variety of writers and poets tackling the questions of finding, imagining, remembering, writing and describing home. It is part of a wider European festival connecting the themes of Joyce’s Ulysses to European cities. In the home city of Leopold Bloom, and with the lineage of writers in Ireland, this promises to be a fascinating series.

This guest  editor is a bookaholic. I’m therefore very excited for the next chapter of Books Downstairs with John Tuomey and Adrian Duncan in the Irish Architecture Foundation. The reflection on two recent books, Tuomey’s First Quarter and Duncan’s Little Republics: The Story of Bungalow Bliss, will be an ideal pairing for a number of reasons, but not least because they tell such different stories. John Tuomey, who has contributed so significantly to architecture in Ireland, wrote a memoir reflecting on 25 of his early years, covering his upbringing and formation as an architect. Adrian Duncan, an engineer and writer, chose to document the bungalow bliss phenomenon, finding personal connections and insights in a mostly maligned, and potentially misunderstood, genre of architecture.

A very important topic will be covered by the “Minding her Business: Women, Architecture and Design” conference from June 13th to 15th. Organised by ‘Expanding Agency’, a research project at UCD, the conference is part of a wider project to document and understand women’s hitherto underappreciated role in the dissemination of modern architecture between 1920 and 1970.  With distinguished speakers from around the world, it defies credulity that such an interesting conference is offered for free.

Lastly, a day after the summer solstice, some architects will have the opportunity to celebrate with the annual RIAI awards announcement. While all the categories are hotly competed, of particular interest is the view from outside, what building will the public vote for in the public-choice award? We will have to wait until June 21st in the National Gallery of Ireland to find out.

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