Sunday, 21 June 2015

Design Spec; the Next Generation

I just wanted to write a short piece on Design@UL 2015 exhibition which explores how various strands of design can be brought together. Now in its fourth year it showcases the creativity and innovation of five design-oriented courses at the University of Limerick; Architecture, Civil Engineering, Product Design, Materials & Architectural Technology and Computer Science & Information Systems. 
This annual end of year show was previously held in the former Franciscan Church on Henry Street but I think the move to 7/8 Rutland Street to Fab Lab Limerick was a great move. Fab Lab is situated within the former 'Opera Centre' site and is the first time the University has had a long-term presence in Limerick city centre.
Not only was an immense amount of work put into the students' projects but also to refurb the upper levels to make them ready for viewing by the public. There is something poetic about having the latest technological/design ideas housed within one of the oldest parts of Georgian Limerick. These townhouses would've been the pinnacle of urban grandeur in the late 18th century. These walls have survived every generation's boom and bust. The excesses of wallpaper, soft furnishings, plaster work, carpets, rugs are gone. The honesty of the white walls and bare floors helped make the concepts from the minds of these young graduates the focus which can often get lost in ornate surroundings. 

The exhibition was officially launched on Tuesday 26 May by the President of the University of Limerick, Professor Don Barry and Programme Director at ID2015 Alex Milton. The overall goal of the major initiative is to increase the awareness, understanding and use of design in Irish society, and to promote Irish design capability internationally, in order to sustain employment and generate new jobs in the sector. Alex Milton in defining Irish Design said “What is coherent across all of Irish design is that sense of empathy, material, craft and storytelling. I see a lot of great stories up there. They have had conversations with people and they’ve had conversations with materials, and then that informs the story they’re then developing.” It was open to the public to view daily until Saturday 6 June. I'm looking forward to next year's already. 
Peter Carroll collected the
RIAI at Woodquay.
Congratulations to SAUL's Intelligence Unit (in collaboration with Bucholz McEvoy Architects, A2 Architects and Hassett Ducatez Architects)for receiving a research award for their 2014 project Georgian Lab- Housing Crisis?, at the RIAI awards this week. It focused on Limerick's Georgian core and set out to offer a constructive critique and elaboration of the Department of the Environment's Living Cities Initiative. 

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