Thursday, August 27, 2009

reading group goes on and on and on.........

At our last session we agreed that the reading group will take place in town from now on. It will be on the same day (Tuesday) same time (7.30) venue tbc.

The first "in town" session will take place on Tuesd
ay 8th September.

So now that we have a weeks break, please get your thinking caps on for reading proposals. As always you can email me at See you soon, Dearbhla

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No. 5 Embodied Experience and Distance

As most of you know, unfortunately I had to postpone last Tuesday's reading group session as there were a lot of people away. Thus next Tuesday's session on the 25th will discuss the "Embodied Experience and Distance" readings (see below). As always if you wish to attend please email me at In order to ensure that we know how many people are going to turn up, I will be asking everyone who wants to come to send me a comfirmation email by 2p.m. on the day of the reading. Hope to see you Tuesday.



Thursday, August 13, 2009

No. 5 Embodied Experience and Distance

For our next reading group session the texts are proposed by me! I don't really want to say to much about the texts, I would rather that the readers bring their own responses on Tuesday 18th. The texts are:
Lived Space Embodied Experience and Sensory Thought from Encounters by Juhani Pallasmaa and
The Necessity of Distance Setting the Position for Critical Spatial Practice by Catharina Gabrielsson from Curating Architecture and the City Edited by Sarah Chaplin and Alexandra Stara.

We will be meeting as usual at 7.30 in the boardroom, in Richview on Tuesday 18th August.

As always please email me at if you would like to attend.

No. 4 Defining Values for a new Environmental Architecture - Review

Firstly thank you to Paul Kenny for proposing such stimulating texts. Again we had a really interesting session on Tuesday, the reading brought up questions of value, intrinsic value, instrumental value, value systems.
Is something still valuable if there is no-one there to value it?
Does architecture have an intrinsic value? What value system should architects use?
The world we live in has changed completely, is it time for a new value system for humanity, and what values should be prioritised?
We also talked about the responsibility of architects for the impact buildings have on the environment as a whole. Perhaps the value systems we currently operate from, do not take enough cognisance of this impact?
We also discussed the idea of cradle to cradle design, and Gaia theory, the earth as a super-self-regulating organism.

Related reading: Gaia:A New Look at Life on Earth by James Lovelock
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things by William McDonough & Michael Braungart

Thursday, August 6, 2009

No. 3 The Tomorrow Club - Review

I know I keep saying the same thing, but we had a really interesting session last night. Thank you so much to Ellen for proposing the texts and being a mine of information. Thanks to everyone who came also. Many diverse issues were discussed, and a few perplexing questions came up inculding; Why is the 2-storey semi-d house the same all over the country, where did the plan/design for these now generic houses come from? (Answers on a postcard please). We also discussed forgotten Irish architects such as Noel Moffett and Herbert Symes (Symes is designed many of the brick dutch expressionist housing complexes around Dublin).
Further reading: "The Lost Decade: Ireland in the 1950s" edited by Dermot Keogh, Finbarr O'Shea, Carmel Quinlan.

No. 4 Defining Values for a new Environmental Architecture

As you can see next week's topic relates to environmental architecture and is proposed by Paul Kenny of UCD. In his own words; "I would like to focus the reading around the idea of our cultural/social collective definition of 'value' as the basis for many of the current environmental problems and then apply that to architecture through the application of an appropriate value system."
To that end we will be reading
chapters 1, 2 and 9 from Christopher Belshaw's book "Environmental Philosophy"
The final reading is a chapter from 'Ethics and the Built Environment' (edited by Warwick Fox) called 'The Conceptual Basis of Building Ethics' and written by Mustafa Pultar.

As always we should be in for a very interesting discussion, if you would like to take part please email me at