Re: Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany

Home Forums Ireland DDDA / Docklands Miscellany Re: Re: DDDA / Docklands Miscellany


It is good hear the positive emphasis in the Docklands Authority end of year statement. To be honest, I haven’t had long enough hands on experience in developing a robust planning framework for an area as large and interesting as the Dublin Docklands. But I would observe that some of the fancy ‘jargon’ used in the titles of DDDA’s publications, does display the same problem with language as experienced by our politicians. I.e. Using the English language in a way that makes no sense to anyone – let alone themselves. I think that Liffey island is an example of a ‘Campshire’ vision that expanded beyond its original brief, to try and move laterally, to occupy the function of a whole economic regeneration strategy. It is simply typical of what designers do, when faced with a subject they have no grasp of – economics – they try to side-step around their own lack of sophistication. (Maybe if architects did attempt to improve this gap in their education, we wouldn’t see AIB becoming almost a project manager for shopping centres on the M50 motorway, and Anglo becoming visionaries for development in the docklands region) The planners really needed to invite players around the table to see what the best solution might be. Not to allow Anglo to take the table away from them altogether. What we have again here, is another symptom of ‘clutch pencil’ isolation-ism.

The wider architectural and design communities have a lot to answer for. Both UCD and Bolton Street spent far too long sitting in ivory towers. I enjoyed many a year in an ivory towers and found people quite civil and agreeable there – but isolated. That in the global environment we live in today, is totally wrong. I hope Waterford/Limerick aren’t following the same trend. I don’t know about Queens. Designers have allowed their standards of language skills to slip down too far. It is sad to see, so many talented and resourceful people, stunted by this lack of practice in language and its use. It is a symptom of architectural and planning schools ‘separation’ from the rest of the university campus. They feel they are superior, and there is a heavy price to be paid for that. Their failure to engage that much in other campus activities such as debating and essay competitions – collective knowledge building and sharing. (Why aren’t UCD design students exhibiting their work in UCD social areas on campus? Other faculties would be delighted to see their work. We need to seriously start teaching those collaborative skills from the ground up – and award course credits as incentivisation) Architects and planners as a whole, seem full of excuses for not improving their reading/writing capabilities. You can see the results in publications by graduates further down the track. They still design their publications, as if never to be viewed by anyone. The DDDA web site even, is an example of that.

Brian O’ Hanlon

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