Week 12 « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

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Reflections on the three months

Saturday, December 12th, 2009


Following the end of the Designing Dublin pilot, we have been back working in our offices in Ormond Quay. There is a lot for us to reflect upon — regarding Clongriffin — and a lot for us to think about concerning our future as a team. On Thursday, we were joined by project founder Jim Dunne. Jim had a lot of helpful suggestions and was very encouraging about the possible ways we might move forward. It hasn’t always been easy but we’ve enjoyed working with each other very much. As a team, we believe we can continue to develop our working methods and affect positive change.

» Brian

Week 12 – Final day of the pilot

Monday, November 30th, 2009

The final day of the Designing Dublin pilot project saw us all working in Clongriffin. Despite adverse weather conditions (freezing fog!) everything went very well and we had good participation from local residents. It’s been a very intensive three months and we’ve learned a huge amount from our engagements. We’ve received a huge amount of assistance from a number of people to whom owe a debt of gratitude. The following is a summary of the projects as they currently stand.


In lieu of a fully realised community centre, members of the Hothouse team invited the residents to paint the empty suite on the main street of Clongriffin. As part of a democratic process, the Hothouse team invited the residents to select their own colour. The chosen shade — Beauty queen pink! Later on that evening, the newly decorated suite was opened with an official ribbon cutting ceremony. Meanwhile, the Architectural Technologist students from the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) are working on designs for the Hothouse which will be voted on by residents next spring.

» Deirdre » Ken » Eimear » Jeremy


Path to the Coast
The Path to the Coast team were joined on Saturday by Botany and Microbiology expert Eanna Ní Lamhna. Along with Eanna, the team lead their champions on a walk along some of the proposed route. They later celebrated this event by serving mulled wine. So far, the Path to the Coast project has been very successful. A design workshop has been planned in order to help the champions with some of the issues such as legal clearance, finance etc.

» Aileen » Susan » Rachel


Grow local
The Grow Local team held a breakfast meeting on Thursday. On Saturday, they continued to work with the asset map and met with other interested parties. They now plan to work with their champions (members of the community who are actively engaged), develop a business plan and seek funding. The long term objective is to start a shared business hub that will help foster a culture of entrepreneurship in Clongriffin.

» Peter » Sarah » Eilish


Over the last fortnight, the communications team have been testing a number of ideas out in Clongriffin including erecting a notice board on the bus stop (above), projecting moving imagery on screens, creating a web portal, web texting residents, disseminating printed material in the form of fliers.

» Sophie » Jim » Celine


In collaboration with parents and members of the PlayVision team, a number of children were able to realise their vision of Clongriffin in large scale models. The team have learned a lot from their experience with the children and see a potential for PlayVision in the future. An unexpected side effect of the process occurred later in the evening when people attracted by the new installation engaged with members of the team in conversations about Clongriffin.

» Luke » Emmanuelle » Brian

Week 12 – A day of events in Clongriffin

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

Map of events in Clongriffin 28th November 2009

Week 12 – Magical mystery tour

Friday, November 27th, 2009


The last few days have been spent readying ourselves for the PlayVision project. While Luke and I continued to work in the office, Emmanuelle hit the €2 shops, buying up props and other items that were needed for the project. In order to inspire and excite the minds of the young children, we have cast certain team members as fictional characters. These characters were developed based on information that was gained from previous projects and include: an historical character; a fantasy character; a contemporary character.

With everything in place, we went out to Clongriffin and collaborated with the children from the two local schools. On two consecutive days, each school was taken on a magical bus journey which stopped at three planned destinations.


  1. Destination
    Here the children met with Nin (played by Ken). Nin told them a little about how he came to be here and what the area was like hundreads of years ago. He explained that there was a lot of fighting going on in the area. He asked the children to build him something that would help solve conflicts and make friends.

  2. IMG_9964

  3. Destination
    Then the children were taken to Father Collins Park where they met The Water Man (played by Jim). The Water Man told the children about life in the park, how he lived and what he ate. He told the children about the local wild life in the park and asked them to build him something for the animals.

  4. IMG_0106

  5. Destination
    Following this, the children were driven to the unfinished town centre where they met the builder (played by Eilish). The builder told them a little about how the area was built. She asked the children to build her something that would make Clongriffin better.

Once they had met with the three characters, the children were returned to the class room where we asked them to talk about their experiences. We then asked them to make a drawing of what they saw. Using this drawing we encouraged the children to make 3D model.

On Saturday we will be commanding one of the empty suits on the main street. The children have been asked to invite their parents along and help them make large scale versions of the 3D models they have made.

» Brian

Week 12 – Prototyping The Hothouse

Friday, November 27th, 2009


This Saturday — 28th of November — sees us with the community fitting out the free unit on the main street of Clongriffin. It is to be used as a community space for residents groups, mothers and babies and other activities until the actual Hothouse is built — if indeed this is what the community decides to do.

We have been looking at options for furniture, paintings etc. and are checking out what can be recycled or reused from offices, residents and websites. In the meantime, the thread on clongriffinresidents.com is coming up with lots of suggestions. We want to make sure everything is in place as the project winds up next Monday 30th and leave the forum with a going concern.

» Deirdre » Jeremy » Eimear » Ken

Week 12 - Planting & celebrating

Monday, November 23rd, 2009


The Trail to the Coast team invited people of Clongriffin and surrounding areas to join them on Saturday afternoon to plant daffodil bulbs; walk the passable sections of the route to the estuary; place some flags to mark the occasion; and celebrate the adventure with some mulled wine and yellow flower lanterns to float.

We had a lovely and inspiring afternoon. People were very excited that the coast could be made so accessible. A few daffodils were planted at the current end of the yellow road; which will hopefully be a lovely sight come spring time. All in all we think the process worked well; helped along by 2 miraculous hours of sunshine in between stormy weather!

» Susan