The Urban Everyday - a webinar

Friday 3 July 2020

This webinar is being held to mark the launch of The Urban Everyday: Design and Material Culture of Dublin 7, an online project by MA Design History and Material Culture and MA Service Design Students at the National College of Art and Design in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland.

The speakers and discussion will focus on the nature of everyday urban experience, particularly in the light of the current pandemic. We will focus on different aspects of the design and material culture of everyday urban life, with topics including ways of thinking about the everyday, analysing the everyday street, collecting the everyday and the future of everyday urban experience.

Speakers include

Professor Ben Highmore, University of Sussex (author of Theories of Everyday Life and The Everyday Life Reader)

Jess Majekodunmi (Design Innovation Leader, The Dock)

Brenda Malone (Curator, National Museum of Ireland)

Nathalie Weadick (Director, Irish Architecture Foundation)

The event is free and takes place from 19.00-20.30 on Friday 3 July 2020. To register for a place and receive a link to the webinar, please click here.

About the project

Students on NCAD’s MA Design History and Material Culture worked with MA Service Design students, and in partnership with the National Museum of Dublin to research Dublin 7. They studied maps to understand the use of land and the morphology of the area, undertook walk-shops with local experts, held information sessions with Dublin City Council Architects’ Division, visited the courts service, and read urban theory and history. A series of themes were generated, and each student selected an item to research in more depth, seeking material that was characteristic of the experience of the area, and raised questions about the nature of life in contemporary Ireland. In undertaking this project, students imagined what might be useful material to recommend the National Museum of Ireland accession into their new Contemporary Ireland collection. 

  • Qungmiao Zhu selected a deliveroo delivery backpack as symptomatic of the gig economy, and how despite the ‘frictionless’ ways technology is used to order deliver food, there is always an actual body carrying the burden of that on their back. 
  • Bhagya Kanakaratne’s researched the wooden pallet, found in particular in the City Fruit and Vegetable Markets. 
  • Tatsiana Coquerel focused on tabs designed to be worn by female barristers, drawing attention to the ‘traditions’ of legal dress.
  • Hazel Ramsay researched the work of court-room artists, choosing a sketch by Mike O’Donnell.
  • Sarah Heffernan selected a drawing by the heroic Dublin City Housing Architect Herbert G. Simms, featuring plans for Chancery House, the superbly designed public flat building on Chancery Place. 
  • Emma Kelly researched a leaflet for the Capuchin Day Centre on Bow Street. 
  • Marie Solova explored a darker aspect of ‘home’ in researching hostile architecture and design in the area, created to repel people who want to rest or sleep in public areas. 
  • Laura de Burca focused on the sodium vapor lamp which is widely used in the illumination of public spaces in Dublin. There is currently a shift from using softly glowing sodium bulbs to bright, white LED ones, which will change the way people and animals experience twilight.