NINE LIVES Everyday stories of architectural design to open at the National Craft Gallery

Posted 06.08.15

NINE LIVES Everyday stories of architectural design to open at the National Craft Gallery

Nine Lives: Everyday stories of architectural design and enthusiastic use

National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, 8th August to 27th September 2015

Nine Lives, curated by Emmett Scanlon for Irish Design 2015, presents the work of nine emerging Irish architectural practices who are gaining a national and international reputation in the craft of architecture. The exhibition opens at the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny on 8th August as part of Kilkenny Arts Festival 2015 and runs until 27th September 2015.

Nine Lives was first shown at the Tank at the Design Museum during London Festival of Architecture earlier this year where Ireland was the inaugural Focus Country. The exhibition is part of New Horizon_architecture from Ireland, conceived and curated by Raymund Ryan and Nathalie Weadick as a series of presentations of the work of ten emerging Irish practices in three high profile venues around the world. New Horizon_architecture from Ireland is the flagship showcase of Irish architecture and the built environment for Irish Design 2015 (ID2015).

Nine Lives invites visitors to look inside the rooms of nine buildings built on the island of Ireland between 2009 and 2015 and to observe and enjoy the everyday life found inside. Eight homes and one outdoor classroom designed by the practices - AP+E, A2, Clancy Moore, GKMP, Hall McKnight, Ryan Kennihan, Steve Larkin, TAKA, and Urban Agency - are displayed on striking blue and bright pink shutter-boxes in the windows of the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny.

Curator Emmett Scanlon says: “Nine Lives is a show about people. Architecture is really exciting and only relevant to society when it is made by, for and with people. When curating this exhibition I wanted to show that rooms have stories to tell and that people’s lives become bound up in the making and using of rooms and buildings. For Nine Lives in Kilkenny, I made a kind of open-library, gathering some pages from architectural storybooks for all nine projects. These pages reveal how, over time, the buildings have come to be designed, crafted, used, visited, observed, shared and remade. To understand architecture, we must read our lives as told through our buildings and it is clear in Nine Lives that architecture can provide a way for people to connect meaningfully with themselves, their families, their designed and built environments and beyond to both real and virtual communities around them.

Gathering a rich variety of drawings, sketches, photos, models and texts from both architects and occupants, and presenting new photographs taken specifically for this exhibition, Nine Lives aims to reveal the care and craft of architectural design, to honour the creative and engaged use of these rooms by their occupants, and to celebrate the social value of architecture in our everyday lives.

Commenting on the exhibition, Brian McGee, Acting Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland said: “We are delighted to be presenting Nine Lives at the National Craft Gallery, as part of the exciting line-up of events for the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2015. Nine Lives showcases the leading edge of architectural talent in Ireland and illustrates how Irish architects have developed a real understanding of materials and craftsmanship as well as a true sense of place. Many are already establishing international reputations and winning prestigious awards, raising Ireland’s profile on the world stage for our talent, creativity and innovation.

Nine Lives run at the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny until 27th September 2015 follows the exhibition’s debut in London for the month of June as part of New Horizon_architecture from Ireland. A key component of the ID2015 programme of international events, New Horizon_architecture from Ireland will have subsequent iterations later this year in Chicago and Hong Kong / Shenzhen.

– Ends –

Notes to Editors


Curator’s talk and launch, Saturday 8th August

3pm: Curator Emmett Scanlon in conversation with guests.
4pm: Official opening by Conor Skehan, Chair of the National Housing Agency.

The Sky’s the Limit, Family Creative Space
Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August, 1pm – 4pm
Build, make and explore a magical city using light, paper and fabric. Come on a creative journey through this magical handmade cityscape with artists Órla Kelly and Deirdre Rogers. ReCreate will supply a variety of unusual materials to make this a unique creative experience for the whole family. This is a drop-in activity for all ages.

Kilkenny Arts Festival Children’s Workshops (Now all fully booked)
Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 12th, Thursday 13th, at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm, workshops are free.
CLAY SKYSCRAPERS with Maeve Sookram (fully booked)
MODULAR TOWERS with Billy McDonald (fully booked)
BUILDING PATTERNS with Caroline Ryan (fully booked)

‘Occupation and Craft in Architecture’ talk followed by Q&A
Tuesday 11th August
From 5.30pm, followed by Q&A
'Occupation and Craft in Architecture' talk followed by Q&A with Emmett Scanlon (curator), Nathalie Weadick (director of the Irish Architecture Foundation and Advisor to ID2015) and selected architects from the Nine Lives exhibition.

Family Day, Handmade Homes
Saturday 12th September, 10.30am and 12noon
Explore Architecture through craft and design workshop. Suitable for all ages.

Culture Night: House Party
Friday 18th September, 5pm – 8pm
The National Craft Gallery is delighted to present House Party as part of this year’s Culture Night. Join us for a cultural extravaganza of music, making and talks.

Community Workshops: Home
Throughout September, Home is an exploration of architectural design with artist and architect Fiona Mc Donald for community groups in Kilkenny. Participants will explore how they engage with their homes.

Discover & Design
Tuesday – Saturdays: 10am – 5.30pm:
Sundays11am – 5.30pm
Visitors of all ages can design, draw and create with self-guided activities. Drop in and get creative.

Gallery Tours
Crafternoon Tour at National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, Saturdays at 3pm.

Curator: Emmett Scanlon
Exhibiting Architects: AP+E, A2, Clancy Moore, GKMP, Hall McKnight, Ryan Kennihan, Steve Larkin, TAKA, Urban Agency.
Exhibiting Occupants: Anonymous
Photographers: Noel Bowler, Alice Clancy, Rachel Glass, Ros Kavanagh, Marie-Louise Halpenny, Aisling McCoy, Paul Tierney, Matthew Thompson.
Outdoor Classroom Drawing: Jennifer O’Donnell + Jonathan Janssens
Exhibition Design: Emmett Scanlon Architects and Matthew Mullin
Exhibition Construction: Alan Meredith Studio
Graphic Design: FORM
Illustration: Fuchsia McAree
Nine Lives Partners: Colortrend Paints, Coillte Panel Products, School of Architecture at University College Dublin.
Nine Live Participants: Copper House Gallery

About the National Craft Gallery
Established by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in 2000, the National Craft Gallery is Ireland’s leading centre for contemporary craft and design. It exhibits Irish and international designers, artists and makers who push boundaries in their engagement with the making process. Its mission is to inspire appreciation, creativity and innovation and it plays a critical role in building understanding of craft and material culture in Ireland.

About Irish Design 2015
Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) is a year-long programme of events and activities exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design both in Ireland and internationally. It aims to showcase the very best of Irish design in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness. ID2015 is an island of Ireland initiative engaging the public, the design community and businesses, promoting Irish design in just about every form at home through events and exhibitions while also targeting the export market through trade missions and events in international capitals of design and commerce. ID2015 is being convened by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), in collaboration with partner organisations, on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland. Irish Design 2015 partners include Founding Partners - MCO Projects; Accommodation Partners - The Doyle Collection; Venue Partners - OPW; Exhibition Partners – DAA; Technology Partners – IBM; Transport Partners – Bus Éireann Expressway; Construction Partners – SISK and Broadcast Partners – RTÉ.

About New Horizon_architecture from Ireland
New Horizon draws its inspiration from important thresholds in the history of contemporary Irish architecture. In 1991 eight practices working collaboratively as Group 91 won the master plan competition for Temple Bar in Dublin City Centre; born in the 1950s, several of these architects have gone on to significant international careers. Between Ireland’s initial Venice Pavilion in 2000 and the most recent in 2014, key architects of the generation born in the 1960s have represented Ireland with flair at the prestigious Venice Biennale International Exhibition of Architecture. The architects participating in New Horizon belong to the next generation. Born after the 1970s and educated on the cusp of the new millennium, they commenced practice as Europe’s economy encountered formidable challenges. These new practices have not only weathered that storm, they exhibit resourcefulness and optimism in their profession. Each has found a way to practice critically, to look at what exists in nature and the built environment, to discover potential in previously overlooked situations, to collaborate across disciplines and evolve new modes of practice for the 21st century.

Nine Lives logos

Architects AP+E
Photographer: Aisling McCoy

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