Public engagement with architecture in the Republic of Ireland

logo-artscouncilirelandIn 2008, the Arts Council commissioned research into “˜Public Engagment with Architecture in the Republic of Ireland’ with the purpose of advancing the commitments set out for architecture in Partnership for the Arts. The purpose of the research is to assist the Council in identifying a number of ways in which it can contribute more significantly to public engagement with architecture in the future.

As a first step, the study explored with stakeholders the concept of “˜public engagement with the artform of architecture’. This can be seen as comprising two elements. Firstly, “˜public engagement’ was widely interpreted as any opportunity for the public to be exposed to, become aware of and appreciate architecture, and indeed contribute to architectural projects. Secondly, while architecture includes many facets (e.g. technical, structural, spatial), “˜the artform of architecture’ was generally perceived as relating mainly to the artistic and creative endeavour associated with architecture.

While the value of encouraging public engagement with architecture was acknowledged by all stakeholders, sectoral informants both in Ireland and in other European countries agree that, in encouraging a non-specialist public to engage with architecture, it is unhelpful to seek to isolate artistic aspects of architecture from its other facets. The practical implication of this is that actions to encourage public engagement with architecture should involve a range of stakeholders.

The report is available online here.