We are delighted to share a video documenting the Town Ecologies 2021 co-design and creative placemaking process. Kate Griffin & Andrea Doyle, Islander Architects and Uncertain Futures in collaboration with Ballyragget Community Hall Committee, Dunnamaggin Development Group, and Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre Committee.
Town Ecologies invited three Irish emerging architects/designers to develop their co-design and participatory community engagement skills and experience within a rural context.
In 2021, Workhouse Union was involved in three separate rural renewal projects in County Kilkenny, working alongside Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, Kilkenny County Council, and local community groups and stakeholders.
The selected architects/designers experienced first-hand co-design, stakeholder/community, and local authority engagement. As a result, the co-design processes realised tangible outcomes for the communities involved and provided a unique real-life immersive learning platform for the participating architects/designers.
Ballyragget / Kate Griffin and Andrea Doyle
A community-led town renewal process focused on the relationship to the river, issues of dereliction and enhanced community facilities. Architects Kate Griffin and Andrea Doyle used an interactive model of the town to start a conversation and map ideas, comments, routes, etc. The community mapping process encouraged discussion about issues relevant to this community and how these could be addressed. The community-led plan sets out fresh ideas for critical areas in the town— the riverside, the town centre, and the area of the bridges, underpinned by the cooperative heritage of the town.
Dunnamaggin / Islander Architects
As part of a village renewal plan to create enhanced community space and amenities, Islander Architects focused on a co-design process for Madge’s Garden. Local Lines was an interactive game to help the community to address the broader context of their built and social environment. The workshop breaks down into three rounds focusing on people, activities and place. A focused co-design of Madge’s Garden established a plan that allows for bio-diversity, markets, performance and intergenerational play space.
Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre / Uncertain Futures
Uncertain Futures collaborated with the Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre (a community-led outdoor concert venue) to create collective imaginings of the future and identify design opportunities for the site. Uncertain Futures experimented in different ways of mapping the ‘soft data’ of the project in ways that are accessible and can play an active role in the long term process of delivering projects. A big focus was on how Ballykeeffe can tell its story in new ways, a series of new mini-infrastructures, how the lime kiln can become a key feature and how, through repositioning the bar, the venue can open put to Slievenamon.