Describing Architecture 2014


Date: 17.10.14 – 08.11.14

Time: 12:00 – 18:00, Monday to Saturday

Venue: City Assembly House and Powerscourt Town House, South William St, Dublin 2

This year’s Describing Architecture exhibition ‘Memory and Place’ will open to the public during the Open House weekend on Friday 17th October and will run until Saturday November 8th 2014. The exhibition will be located in the Octagonal Room of the City Assembly House and the atrium of the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre on South William Street, Dublin 2.

Describing Architecture looks at how buildings and spaces are designed and documented and explores unseen aspects of architectural practice, alongside its critical relationship to the visual arts and the work of artists. This year ‘Memory and Place’ contains work across a wide range of media including architectural models from award winning practices Carmody Groarke and McGonigle McGrath, drawing studies by students of DIT Architecture and work from a broad spectrum of national and international artists in painting, photography, mixed-media, audio and film. This collection of work considers how a sense of place is registered and recorded in collective and individual memory, and further asks how a narrative of place both real and imagined can develop. This exhibition is the starting point for a planned two year programme which will develop and explore further strands of the ‘Memory and Place’ theme.

A series of evening and lunchtime events will be programmed during the exhibition, more details on these can be found below. Please check for more details and latest information.

Alongside the exhibition, Powerscourt Townhouse are delighted to be supporting artist in residence – Noelle Gallagher []. Noelle will be working in the Powerscourt Townhouse and developing a collection of works reflecting on the history and fabric of the building. The work produced from the residency will be exhibited at various stages during its production.

Generous Support
The exhibition is organised and curated by Antóin Doyle, supported and part-funded by the Architectural Association of Ireland, the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, and DublinTown, and supported by the Irish Architecture Foundation and NCAD. Venue support is provided with thanks to the Irish Georgian Society and Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, with exhibition sponsorship from printers Hackett Digital and timber specialists Woodworkers.

Opening Night
The Describing Architecture exhibition will be opened by Professor Elizabeth Hatz on Thursday 16th October at 6pm in the City Assembly House, South William Street Dublin 2. Due to the capacity of the venue, there are limited numbers for the opening night, please RSVP to

Friday 17th October 1.15pm – 1.45pm
Lunchtime in the Octagon, with ICOMOS Ireland
A Conversation with Fred Scott, author of “On Altering Architecture”
Fred Scott’s tenet is that ‘there is no such thing as conservation’ not because there isn’t, or the need for it, but because it should fundamentally underpin our architectural thought process and design response. As such there should be no need for a separate discipline.
How could this position change our understanding of place? Could it develop a new approach to understanding how historic properties can develop a newly imagined or continued sense of place? Join in a lunchtime conversation to respond to the challenge of mainstreaming conservation in architectural education.
Free event, open entry

Thursday 23rd October 7.30pm – 9.00pm
Evening Talks by Exhibitors
5-6 participants will talk about their work in the exhibition and how it relates to the theme
Free event, open entry

Wednesday 29th October 5.30pm – 8.30pm
Learning Lab – ‘Space, Place and Communities of Practice’  being run with the MA in Socially Engaged Art in NCAD
Questions around the theme are explored with postgraduate students, providing an opportunity to broaden the academic discussion to independent researchers and the public
More information to follow, including details of background readings and a podcast on the topic
Free event, Registration required: email with Learning Lab in the subject.

Wednesday 5th November 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Conversations on Memory and Place
Informal evening of conversation with 3 contributors and open audience
More information to follow
Free event, open entry

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