November 19 2013

A Missing Core: Architectural Education in Northern Ireland

Architectural education is vitally important, as both the public and professionals alike can stimulate a collaborative community seeking the best for their future. The diagram below shows how architecture, planning and urbanism, and landscape architecture in the UK are treated as three separate areas. I believe the missing core to this diagram is the education of the built environment, encouraging the public and professionals to be engaged with future developments that may concern themselves.

Diagram Illustrating Missing Core within the Built Environment

In Northern Ireland, the efforts to connect these areas through public awareness is PLACE. PLACE (Planning/ Landscape/ Architecture/ Community/ Environment) was established by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects and Belfast City Council in 2004 as Northern Ireland’s Built Environment Centre. Later in 2011, PLACE was registered as a Charity.

Located in Belfast City Centre, PLACE runs a vast public programme across Northern Ireland. From exhibitions and discussions, to community projects and design workshops educating many of different ages. Educating the youth, as well as older generations, is key to engaging future generations.

Belfast Childrens Festival

I was recently involved in a community project with PLACE, the 2012 Belfast Children’s Art Festival. Situated in the oldest building in Belfast, the Assembly Rooms, the festival involved many artists and organizations, including PLACE. One particular activity, Cardboard Cities, is a product of PLACE. The idea is simple: allow children to build their own city out of cardboard. From observing and participating in this activity I learned the importance of the built environment, even to the youth of our generation.

Despite all the great efforts of PLACE and other educational bodies, Northern Ireland has not established a key interest in architecture and the built environment; hence, the missing core in the early diagram. What else can be done in the area of education to garner public interest in the future of their built environment?

Credits: Image by Neil Harrison and linked to source. Data linked to sources.

James Foskett

James Foskett is currently in his last year of Architecture undergraduate study at Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Born in Devon, England, he has always had a passion for the Built Environment and therefore is planning on finishing his Architectural education by doing an MArch and possibly a Phd. Inspired by travel, his main interests are contextual designs that contribute greatly to the people that use them. From an Environmental Science background, he is also interested in sustainability and the effects of the life cycle of a building upon it's surroundings.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 at 9:59 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Education and Careers, Government/Politics, History/Preservation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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2 Responses to “A Missing Core: Architectural Education in Northern Ireland”

  1. design build west virginia Says:

    wonderful issues altogether, you simply won a emblem new reader. What may you recommend in regards to your publish that you just made some days ago? Any certain?

  2. James Foskett Says:

    Thank you very much for your comment as well as your praise, it is greatly appreciated and I hope you enjoy my future blogs. In Northern Ireland I would recommend creating a bigger platform for Centres like PLACE, established by the local Councils. This would create a greater sense of public awareness and in turn help to tie the disciplines together.

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