Week 22 « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

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Week 22 – Book club with Mary

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Mary brought ‘Journeys of Courage’ by Joy Carol to her book club this Friday. It is a collection of inspirational stories from communities that have supported each other through hard times. Drawing on experiences in New York, post 9/11 Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, she illuminates the importance of community in the healing process. From fire fighters in New York, who helped children and teenagers identify and express their feelings after the attacks on the twin towers, who went on to tour the US highlighting the importance of recognising all of the people effected by this tragedy to Sister Consillo in Wicklow who founded a drug addiction recovery centre at Cuan Mhuire 40 years ago, which are now helping people suffering from addictions all over the country. Carol brings together stories where a small seed has grown to become very important and bigger than the founder could ever have imagined. The stories demonstrate what works for different communities, the positive impact we can have as individuals and the importance of communities supporting themselves and each other in the healing process.

Week 22 – Steering Group meeting

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

The Steering Group, made up of key project stakeholders in Dublin City Council and Design Twentyfirst Century joined us on Thursday for an energising meeting. We challenged the Steering Group to each join a project, which was presented to them for 30 minutes. From this presentation they were tasked with understanding what the project concept is, what the prototype is and where the prototype will take place. After this, the group came back together and the Steering Group member had to communicate this information back to the larger group for feedback. The Steering Group took the challenge with gusto, getting to grips with their nominated project, offering helpful advice on how to carry out the prototype and assisting with resources where possible. Their advice and support is crucial to running successful prototypes and ensuring the projects have a life long after the Love the City project wraps-up so the team were delighted with their enthusiasm and engagement in the work!

Week 22 – Working towards prototyping the ‘Lack of’s’

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Things are all go in the studio this week! The project concepts and prototypes were finalised last week, which leads on to the task for this week: preparing and building the prototypes. The logistics of preparing 11 prototypes are mind boggling with each project guardian taking charge of ensuring that their ideas become a reality over the coming weeks, and Vannesa, Susan and Brian overseeing their completion. Mary’s project on the ‘Lack of linkages’ in the area is particularly vital at this stage, as her prototype is matching people in the Market’s area with the ‘Lack of’s’ to ensure community buy-in and in the process helping us find the perfect long-term project champions. A number of project overlaps have occurred so further projects have become married to support one another in prototyping. The soft concepts of the prototypes are meeting the hard realities of making them happen, with plans of action, budgets and permissions all becoming hot topics! The prototypes are as follows:

10 Enterprises // 10 Days // 10 Tests –
Using a vacant space to showcase innovative ways of how enterprise can transform an area.

Urban Furniture - Creating a destination place where people can pause, spend time, have a coffee, read a book, meet friends, within the Markets area.

City Works – Showcasing and telling the story of the people who make the city work in all levels of the and involving them in a human library event.

Broadcasting People – Capturing the stories of people and the Markets and projecting them around the City.

Are you aware? - Discovering the Markets area through fruity fun & frolics.

Pimp your Pavement – Using ecology and planting as a magnet for bringing people together and improving the Markets area.

DigitalMary.ie –
A human interaction network aiming to enable creativity to flourish in the Markets area.

Improving the destination experience – Improving the experience of navigation and the feeling of safety in the Markets area.

Square metre outside your door –
Using the construction of urban furniture as a tool to bringing two different residential groups together while improving the environment outside their homes.

As the excitement builds towards making the prototypes public, the team are really pushing for this last month to produce the best projects for the Market’s area. We are looking for brilliant people to help us on various projects, for more information about how you can sign up please see our ‘Upcoming’ page or email info@designingdublin.com.

Week 22 – Visit from Jean Byrne

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Jean Byrne, founder of Design Twentyfirst Century, the organisation who initiated the Designing Dublin project, joined us on Wednesday to inspire the team around the subject of entrepreneurship. Jean shared with us her story of how she became the owner of a highly successful clothing brand, which led her into social entrepreneurship and most recently founding Design 21C. She also let us in on her many tricks of the trade and nuggets of wisdom!

Starting her career selling her sister’s clothes at the Dandelion market, followed by a stint as a personal assistant with Arthur Anderson and in recruitment, she was always drawn to handicrafts, fashion and textures. This drive led her to setting up an export business, selling 10 small Irish handmade products to the UK and European markets, which led to a lucky encounter with a business man at a trade show. He wanted to purchase a bulk order of one of the products she stocked, called Stitchers Limited. However, Stitchers Ltd was going out of business and was unable to fulfil the order. He invested in Stitchers to keep it afloat and Jean took the reigns of the business, turning the company into a women’s clothing label, which went on to great success, rivalling Paul Costello. After selling this business, she went on to work with An Cosán and the Crafts Council of Ireland, before founding Design 21C with Jim Dunne.

Over her career, she has learned the importance of knowing yourself, what your good at, what drives others mad and what you are willing to change. She shared with us that through fear you grow, encouraged us to be flexible, to seize opportunities and to adopt to change. Jean’s wise words and inspirational spirit are of great value to the Designing Dublin team as we move into the last phases of the project and will be of influence long after Love the City wraps up.