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Dublin´s Metamorphosis (EASA 08 conference audio)

(EASA conference, August 2008: “Listen to audio file here” : ,1 hour 20 mins)

Discussion chaired by Frank McDonald, journalist with The Irish Times, on a broad range of architectural and developmental issues that have become apparent in Celtic Tiger Dublin. Contributors include Dr. Gary Boyd, Ciarán Cuffe TD, Robert Ballagh and Siobhain Ní Éanaigh. The majority of the speakers were very critical of Celtic Tiger Ireland, a change from previous "architectural discussion". <b>“The talk happened in Docklands "white elephant", CHQ, aka: Stack A.” </b>  

Sunday August 10 2008 was the day of the discussion, day after the worst rainfall that Ireland had ever seen in the month of august, <b>“a wake up call if ever there was one of how we have to adress climate chaos...” </b>
(original post: )

"“Finally the realizion of Maggie Thatchers demented vision of there being no such thing as society” "

"“The end of the boom is something we should welcome, there will enter a period of recession, we can think about what legacy we have left...” "

So were 2 of the phrases used by Frank Mc Donald in his summary and introduction to over 400 architectural youth from all over Europe, who came last summer to our island to participate in a 2 week summer school exploring in Dublin and out west in Letterfrack, the theme of "adaptation"

1 - Intro from Frank Mc Donald
2 - Dublin architect Siobhain Ní Éanaigh explains about the river, boardwalk and other plans
3 - Dr. Gary Boyd, Scottish architect teaching in Cork school of architecture, talking about “public city, the politics of space and control, housing apartheid etc...” very good to hear these views expressed.
4 - Ciarán Cuffe TD for the Green party and architect, Dublin and its contrasts and green dreams.
5 - Robert Ballagh, artist and social political activist, talks about how CHQ was nearly the city art museum as well as his take on the city.

At some stages during the talk, the panel discussed the "local community" at the other side of the big walls, Sheriff Street and North Wall, 2 years ago I did a radio interview with Mary Cummings from NWWC, North Wall womens centre, in which she describes her story of a changing town. Listen here;

This talk was followed by the GREEN AND BLUE walk, one of the many post talk city wanders, this one walked along a possible Dublin city greenway and food production zone, the Botanic Spine.

Adapt Or Die, Blessed Unrest @ Letterfrack?

Dublin’s Metamorphosis

Green and Blue walk: eco threads for Dublin city

The Botanic Spine : A Greenway and CPUL for Dublin (eco)city


“Much thanks to Gary Gallagher for editing and presenting audio in the public realm”

And what would an Irish post be without a bit of ceoil (music)

The Dubliners Jim McCann on vocals & "the Rare Old Times", ballad about the changes in Dublin Ireland over the years, with past & present photos of the city & landmarks

full story...

The Revolutionn is On!

Revolutionary Green

Join us at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston November 19-21, 2008. Boston is the historic cradle of the American Revolution and home to innovations that have far-reaching impact. It is the perfect place to celebrate Greenbuild 2008’s theme of “Revolutionary Green: Innovations for Global Sustainability.”

Check out their zoomable Conference Programme:

Cant get there, dont have the cash? Tune in for free

Live streaming video coverage of all Master Speaker sessions and Friday’s closing plenary. These sessions will also be archived, so you can view them later if you miss them live.

From the yearly conference to organic growing permanent network:

Greenbuild365 expands the educational focus of USGBC's Greenbuild Conference to a year-round forum, providing access to top-quality, innovative learning opportunities featuring timely and accurate information and training. Educational opportunities previously limited by geography are now available to anyone, anywhere - promoting ongoing learning for all.

Earlier posts on themes of eco urbanism and architecture:

and earlier with you on EASA:

So in terms of all this ark and eco stuff, where do I start?
Think global, act local. You've heard it but are you doing it. Best thing is to connect with your local Transition Town network, if one doesent exist, start one off. Its exploding and bound to hit your town soon, in 2 years its exploded, ie see Europe below. for more info, audios, films etc see

and from there, heres some of our dreams and actions for Barcelona:

Towards a healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona

Patcha Mama smiles again in Gracia (our local urban food garden, the first of many...)

OK, hope ye get fired up, dont just talk about it, do it!

"George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Robert F Kennedy Jnr, and Al Gore, and the call for A NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION"

Ill leave you with last years Green Build EXPO Keynote speaker (just in case you need revving up...) Paul Hawken, who is responsible for WISER Earth:

heres link for his full 2 hour talk from last year
Its not the best quality, so heres 2 more:
Paul Hawken speaks at Bioneers 2006: Blessed Unrest

heres hour long interview with him about all these movements, of which, Green Build and USGBC is but one.

full story...

Ken Yeang and his HAIRY bioclimatic architecture

“My name is Ken Yeang, I am an ecologist and an architect. for the future, we have to totally rethink our built environment, to achieve the simple collective objective of a benign and seamless integration of everyting that we as humans do or build in the natural environment.” ???/???

Last night in Barcelona, as part of Habitat Futura’s Bienel de arquitectura sostenible which focused on eco buildings and sustainable urbanism, one of the legends of green building spoke, the Malaysian architect and ecologist who studied in the UK: Ken Yeang. HF invited him to talk about his 1998 competition winning EDITT tower (Ecological Design In The Tropics) for Singapore, Malaysia.


Including "eco corridors" for Istanbul...

full story...

Global Eco Forum (S22-O17)

The 1st Global Eco-Forum: Responsibility, sustainability & eco-innovation organized by eco-union with the collaboration of many public and private entities, is an international event to reflect, discuss and generate new ideas for a more sustainable and responsible society.

25 days of the interchanging of ideas on the net, before and after the event, plus one day on site, face to face forum in Barcelona (7/10/08) to reflect, discuss and generate new ideas for a more sustainable and responsible society.

EIG are a partner in this event.

How the largest movement in the world came into being, and why no one saw it coming. Paul Hawken has spent over a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice.
From billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person dot.causes, these groups collectively comprise the largest movement on earth, a movement that has no name, leader, or location, and that has gone largely ignored by politicians and the media. Like nature itself, it is organizing from the bottom up, in every city, town, and culture. and is emerging to be an extraordinary and creative expression of people's needs worldwide.

full story...

40 years ago this month in Paris….Mai 68

“Be realistic, demand the impossible”
From a time when architects DID change the world.

If you were walking the streets of Paris this month 40 years ago, chances are you would be completely caught up and participating in a time that has since changed French society forever.

Then, France was on the verge of a total revolt with 12 million workers on strike, 122 factories occupied, and millions of students fighting for a radical change in the way the world was working. A spark that boldly called for revolution and dreamed of an end to capitalism appeared to come out of nowhere. Its ripples sparked further questioning and action in other parts of the world including our own little island.

Ultimately, Paris ’68 did not succeed, but that’s not to say that the spark has been fully quelled or, indeed, that it wont boldly appear again in what are still troubled times.

From this explosion of direct action, self control and organisation of space, erection of and life behind barricades, experiments in mass participative democracy and violent confrontation with the powers, new ideas formed and are still forming about how our world works, what alternatives are more desirable and what has to be done to bring these dreams about.

In Ireland the spark seemed to ignite on an already quietly kindling Derry, which directly led to a bitter and bloody 30 year confrontation. The Paris flame was later felt in Dublin’s universities where again students occupied and fought for change, if albeit to a lesser extant then their French comrades. An interesting thing to note is how art and culture played a significant part in these days of action, from the Situationists’ ideas, films, posters, actions in Paris to sometime later, the Free Derry Fleadh with a legendary 23 non stop music session with Luke Kelly and the Dubliners to Tommy Makem’s “4 green fields”.

Today in Barcelona and many other places, May ’68 is being remembered, old films footage of street riots is being shown in cinemas, political spaces are again facilitating dialogue between activists from yesterday and today. This is just a little reminder, that the spark is still alive and kicking…

From Paris ’68 to where?

Paris ‘68
It began when university students in Paris occupied the area of the Sorbonne and Nanterre universities in response to a dispute over visiting rights to a female students’ dormitory. The protests grew into a call for wider university reforms and greater personal freedoms that led to three weeks of mass demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest heavy-handed police treatment. In a show of solidarity, ten million workers, or roughly two-thirds of the French workforce, went on strike. It marked the biggest general strike in French history.

Ireland ‘68
Inspired by the growing call for civil rights by Martin Luther King and the blacks in the United States, Catholics in Derry started to organise themselves peacefully for change. The city on the edge was on the border of Northern Ireland and was unjustly maintained in a state of apartheid against the catholic “Irish” nationalist community.

In March 1968, a small number of radicals in the city founded the Derry Housing Action Committee, with the intention of forcing the government of Northern Ireland to change their housing policies. They used “direct action” such as blocking roads and invading local council meetings in order to force them to house Catholic families who were on council's housing waiting list for a long time. By the summer of 1968, this group had linked up with the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and was agitating for a broader programme of reform within Northern Ireland.

In May, news went out around the world what kicked off in Paris, what it could achieve… it showed the times were changing. Perhaps this gave more hope to Derry that change was possible, but also showed what levels the powers will use to quell such demands for change.

“The Troubles”
On October 5 1968, a civil rights march in Derry, the Royal Ulster Constabulary "booted and bludgeoned" a crowd of teachers and clerics off the streets. In response, two thousand students from Queens University marched to City Hall to protest the brutality. These students were then rerouted and blocked by the police, an event that catalyzed the formation of the country's most dynamic student movement, People's Democracy.

On October 5, 1968, activists organised a march through the centre of Derry. However, the demonstration was banned and when the marchers defied this ban they were batoned by the RUC. The RUC's actions were televised and caused widespread anger in nationalist circles. The following day, 4000 people demonstrated in solidarity with the marchers in Guildhall Square in the centre of Derry. This march passed off peacefully, as did another demonstration attended by up to 15,000 people on November 16. However, these incidents proved to be the start of an escalating pattern of civil unrest that culminated in the events of August 1969….

Beyond ‘68, Free Derry and the battle of the bogside…
On 1 January 1969,a group of students in Queen's University Belfast, called People's Democracy, organized a march from Belfast to Derry in support of civil rights. They started out with about forty young people on 1 January 1969. The march met with violent opposition from anti-civil rights counter-demonstrators at several points along the route. Finally, at Burntollet Bridge, five miles outside Derry, they were attacked by a mob of about two hundred wielding clubs, some of them studded with nails, and stones. The police, who were at the scene, failed to protect them. Dozens of marchers were taken to hospital. The remainder continued on to Derry where they were attacked once more on their way to Craigavon Bridge before they finally reached Guildhall Square, where they held a rally. Rioting broke out after the rally. Police drove rioters into the Bogside, but did not come after them.

This was officially the start of Derry's "Troubles" and around this time the internationally renowned image "You Are Now Entering Free Derry" mural was established.

Dublin '68 : the gentle revolution

You can listen to excellent half hour radio show:
What if Irish Students in the 1960's had been more radical. with Guests: Margaret McCurtain and Jim Lockhart

Architect students played a main part in this call for change, primarly out of working for better housing conditions.

listen now:
webpage source:
click on: Programme 15: 10th December 2006

For links to films, more audio, more texts see:

May 1968 Graffiti
Boredom is counterrevolutionary.

In a society that has abolished every kind of adventure the only adventure that remains is to abolish the society.

Those who make revolutions halfway only dig their own graves.

No replastering, the structure is rotten.

We will ask nothing. We will demand nothing. We will take, occupy.

Down with the state.

It's painful to submit to our bosses; it's even more stupid to choose them.

Abolish class society.

We want neither to rule nor to be ruled.

All power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Politics is in the streets.

Barricades close the streets but open the way.

People who work get bored when they don't work.

People who don't work never get bored.

The boss needs you, you don't need the boss.

Humanity won't be happy till the last capitalist is hung with the guts of the last bureaucrat.

A single nonrevolutionary weekend is infinitely more bloody than a month of total revolution.

We refuse to be highrised, diplomaed, licensed, inventoried, registered, indoctrinated, suburbanized, sermonized, beaten, telemanipulated, gassed, booked.

Coming soon to this location: charming ruins.

Our aim is to agitate and disturb people. We're not selling bread, We're selling yeast.

You will end up dying of comfort.

Poetry is in the streets.

The most beautiful sculpture is a paving stone thrown at a cop's head.

Revolution, I love you.

I'm a Groucho Marxist.

Desiring reality is great! Realizing your desires is even better!

Be realistic, demand the impossible.

Those who lack imagination cannot imagine what is lacking.

Arise, ye wretched of the university.

Professors, you are as senile as your culture, your modernism is nothing but the modernization of the police.

Neither God nor master.

If God existed it would be necessary to abolish him.

How can you think freely in the shadow of a chapel?

The more we make love, the more we want to make revolution. The more we make revolution, the more we want to make love.

Revolutionary women are more beautiful.

Make love, not war.

Down with consumer society.

The more you consume, the less you live.

Commodities are the opium of the people.

You can't buy happiness. Steal it.

The economy is wounded – Lets hope it dies!

I don't have time to write!!!

Don't get caught up in the spectacle of opposition. Oppose the spectacle.

No forbidding allowed.

The freedom of others extends mine infinitely.

full story...

KRAX @ BCN 23-26, wander in or tune into stream

KRAX investigates, connects and empowers urban creativity that responds to "cracks" in the city.

KRAX 4 day conference @ BCN : Autonomous cultural spaces.
collectives from many countries participating...
will be streamed also, should you wish to tune in

KRAX comes from the idea of cracks in the city, places that generate tensions arising from urban transformation in relation to social and cultural needs. These cracks are a point of attraction for new interests and creations. Krax is an initiative of City Mine(d), centre of production for urban interventions in Brussels, London and Barcelona.

KRAX* s a project that investigates, promotes and connects urban creativity in Barcelona with that of other cities. KRAX believes that Urban Creativity generates alternative proposals and reactions that are necessary to the city's transformation. Autonomous initiatives emerge in response to the lack of value that public institutions place on the need for collectivism, participation and self-management in the process of building the city’s future. These initiatives exist at the cultural, social and economic levels, and we recognise the need to acknowledge and involve them.

SHEDULES: 16.30-18h y 21-23h (GMT+1)
Stream powered by GISS,
Streamer Valentina Messeri (

full story...

full story...

"Imagine a building that makes oxygen, distills water, produces energy, changes with the seasons—and is beautiful. In effect, that building is like a tree, standing in a city that is like a forest."

The above design and the ideas behind it come from William McDonough, the green architect par excellence, who built the first solar-powered house in Ireland in 1977 and was entitled “Hero of the Planet” in 1999 by the Time magazine, this latest proposal for the Tower of tomorrow was commissioned by Fortune Magazine. Read more on INHABITAT

You can watch Bill outline his simple, revolutionary, eco ideas in his presentation: The wisdom of designing Cradle to Cradle. These bold dreams are catching on and being realised, from clean fully C2C recylable materials to eco cities in China.

(This talk in its original very inspiring website TED TALKS )

His question:
"How do we love all of the children of all species for all time."

His goal:
"A delightfullyt diverse, safe, healthy and just World, with clean air, water, soil and power – economically, equitably, economically and elegantly enjoyed."

Meanwhile in ireland...

After many many years of asking and hoping, EASA is finally coming to Ireland....a long journey since the early days, nearly 6 years ago now, when Ireland recovered from being a "Lost country" and a few Paddys wandered out to participate in EASA 02 @ Samogar, Vis, Croatia...

Other interesting eco things happening in Ireland:
Convergence 13: Transition Strategies...Post Carbon Cities, Transition Towns and Eco-Villages

It seems that a lot of things have moved in the last 2 years since: that eco city idea is starting to take off in china, and even more since those special days in Banja Luka, Bosnia trying to make our first eco city.

So with all this talk and action, maybe some day Dublin city might actually get its Botanic Spine

and the aul town might become an eco city, as Torbjorn Lahti pointed out "changing the world is easy, we've done it"

Anyway, thats enough from EIG (eco intelligent growth) here in Barcelona

oiche mhaith a chairde



7 last things:

this picture:

and these questions:
1- What is an architect in today's society?
2- Define "innovative architect"
3- How should one practice architecture?
4- What are the architect's responsibilities?
5- What or where is architecture's laboratory?
6- How can architecture be taught today?

add your answers in:
Six Simple and Hard Questions About What Architects Do Today and Where Their Profession Might Go Tomorrow: And Your View Is ....

full story...


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