Jack R. Lehane
Jack R. Lehane is a postdoctoral researcher that works across academia and industry. He is chair of the All-Ireland Architecture Research Group (AIARG).
A month of transformation and bloom, April often provides space and place for individual and collective reflection. This year, April [Aibreán] — from Old Irish Apréil, and in part influenced by braon [“drop/s (of rain)”] — appropriately offers us opportunities to participate in new conversations around social ecologies and environmental transitions.
On Saturday 1st April, the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) are hosting their latest in their New Life for Old Buildings — Site Visit Series in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary. Supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, this is the second of three site visits as part of the Reimagine Programme to learn more about how to bring vacant properties back into use. This time around, architect Caelan Bristow will share her experience of her design renovation and full energy retrofit of a 3-storey stone terrace house (c.1800) since 2018.
Meanwhile, Thursday 6th April brings a new session of Talking Towns; a seminar series organised by the UCD Centre for Irish Towns (CfIT) and UCD Earth Institute. Co-organised with Cultural Policy Observatory Ireland, the series brings together researchers and stakeholders from across the island of Ireland to support Irish town revitalisation. This upcoming session, ‘Making Art in the Rural’, will spark conversation around the circumstances, challenges and opportunities that the theme presents.
On Friday 14th April, the All-Ireland Architecture Research Group (AIARG) are hosting their conference component of a two-day educational series in partnership with TU Dublin. Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s and Thelma Young Lutunatabua’s project, ‘Not Too Late’ — AIARG’s 12th annual conference ‘Not Too Late: Design Thinking for Ecological Futures’ will explore the shifts required in architectural thinking to address climate change while inviting us to think optimistically about the future. This conference will support a HEA funded revision of Irish architectural education, Resilient Design Curricula for 21st Century Design Professionals. This year’s new edition includes diverse cross-sectoral support and speakers including Dublin City Council (DCC) and Smart Dublin, as well as a much-anticipated climate-attentive remote keynote from Kiel Moe.
Let’s not forget that the RIAI and The Academy of Urbanism conference ‘Galway: Reimagining the Irish City’ is also taking place this month. This two-day event on 26th—27th April will revolve around a radical planning reform for more future-looking Irish cities and towns. In particular, it will look at how the Freiburg Charter’s urban design principles can be updated for an Irish context using the Irish Cities Galway 2070 Plan prepared by the Irish Cities Group. This is a prime event for professionals interested in their continued development, with 6 CPD points available for each day.
Lastly, Friday 28th April brings the conclusion of ‘Remaking the Crust of the Earth’ — an open exhibition by artist and curator Gavin Murphy at the Irish Architectural Archive (IAA). Combining photography, film and installations, we are offered a material immersion on the historical and cultural impact of glass in the built environment. If you haven’t yet visited it, now is your chance!