» Designing Dublin 1.0 – Blog « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

Archive for the ‘» Designing Dublin 1.0 – Blog’ Category

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

Week 11 – PlayVision

Saturday, November 21st, 2009


With Marcos gone to pursue a PhD in Australia, the project Luke, Emmanuelle and myself have been working on has finally taken shape. It’s been a tough few weeks. For quite a bit of the time it didn’t feel like we were getting anywhere. Then Vannesa stepped in to help. She began by getting us to identify the various components of the project.  Then, once we had done this, we were then asked to draw an image of how we saw the project. These initial drawings were quite different from one another but allowed us to see our different perspectives.

Then Vannesa asked us to do a second drawing, only this time the drawing needed to convey a narrative of how we saw the process working. At first it seemed these drawings shared no common features but after some discussion, it we began to discover overlapping ideas. We then synthesised these ideas and created a third iteration. This third iteration is what has brought us to our process, which we feel very confident about.

Our process is called PlayVision.

The main concept underpinning PlayVision is that children can become teachers. With our process, we plan on stimulating the imaginations of some of the local children and let them tell us what Clongriffin will look like in the future. Developing this theme further, we are then going to get the children to collaborate with their parents and teach them about what they have learned.

» Brian

Trail 11 – Planting Doffodil bulbs

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Daffodil Bulb Promotion

We’ve been working hard on promoting our project, making posters, flyers and small boxes with bulbs in. These boxes are now with the local businesses who very kindly let us put our posters in their windows. We were delighted to hear that some of the people working there had already heard about our project and thought it was a great idea.

We’ve made a plan for Saturday 21st: We will meet a group of residents and bring them on a walk. They will be invited to plant their daffodil bulbs. We will then ask people what their wishes for the trail are and they will then light tealights in floating yellow flowers (yellow is our colour) and celebrate with mulled wine.

We have also contacted other groups who’ve worked on similar projects to see if they could give us some advice. Our engineer from the Dublin City Council (DCC) has given us some valuable information regarding land ownership as well as a contact list which will help us develop the project further.

» Susan » Aileen

Week 11 – Cardboard office

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Cardboard office

The Grow Local team spent the weekend foraging around the back of Centra and the Smithfield fruit market for cardboard. Once we had enough gathered, we brought it to the suite on the main street of Clongriffin and — with the help of some special volunteers — set about making our cardboard office.

Once the cardboard office was up and running, we put out a call for residents to come to the space and give us their feedback. We have been distributing fliers to publicise our meeting, which will take place on Thursday evening from 19.30 – 21:00 in suite 60 on the main street of Clongriffin.

The 3 concepts are:

  1. Asset map
    Can we create a network for local exchange by showing people the assets that are in their community?
  2. Office Share
    Can we pool local resources and needs to fill one of the empty shop units with office support facilities such as printing, meeting rooms and secretarial services for businesses and self employed people in the area?
  3. Shop Share
    Can we pool local resources to fill one of the empty shop units with 100 shops and services. Can we do this by providing a space where local businesses can give demonstrations of their products and services in an open space with free wifi to encourage people to use the space?

» Eilish

Week 10 – Trail to the Coast

Friday, November 13th, 2009


The Trail to the Coast project was born out of a process that was run with the KaosPilots back in Week 3. The project looks to connect Clongriffin with the surrounding wetlands and provide a link with the coastline.

This week the team went to Clongriffin to inspect the walk area. While we were there, we were grateful to have a DCC engineer call out and give us technical advice. However this highlighted the fact that the team, as it stood, lacked the appropriate knowledge. To fill this gap Rachel, an original member of the Trail to the Coast project, rejoined the team.

With Rachel back on board, we began designing prototypes. We went out to Clongriffin to inspect the walk area to help us design suitable prototypes. We were very grateful to have an engineer from Dublin City Council (DCC) give us technical advice. As a result of this there was a move between teams as we felt someone who was more knowledgeable about land and construction.

We continued working on the prototypes and designed activities for the following Saturdays as follows:

Saturday 14th: We are planning to set up a tent in the park and create a sea side party. It will be open from 1.00 to 4.00. When we meet people we will tell them about Designing Dublin and our project and invite them to join us on a group walk the following Saturday. We will give them bulbs with stickers announcing the walk the following week. We invite them to plant these bulbs during the walk on the 21st.

Despite our best made plans, it was too windy to put up the tent in Father Collins park. We made several efforts but in the end, we were forced to give up. Instead, we gave out Daffodil bulbs to people in Clongriffin. This way, we were able to get contact details from all the people who were interested.

» Rachel » Susan