To try and grasp the inner workings of the Markets area each team member of Designing Dublin chose a different ‘layer’ within the area to study in more depth. My chosen layer was the people of the area. How did I study this layer in more depth? I went around the area and talked to anyone that would talk back, and thankfully nearly everyone I approached had a bit of time for me.
I talked to a diverse range of people from Anna and Joe who work in the Market building, Aileen, the principle of the primary school, Mr. Hughes and Mr. Sexton, two publicans of the area, Deco, the supervisor at the Christian Mission, Monica and Robert who live on Ormond Square, Joe the fruit and veg seller on Mary’s Abbey, Allen the fishing tackle guy, Siony the lady from the Philipines, Morgan and Shauna, two twelve year olds, Arran from the band the Pulse (who are very good by the way), Barry the cash and carry guy, Claire and Deirdre, the artists from Market Studios, the list goes on.
I talked to about 30 people altogether. I wanted to find out what they thought of the area, what their hopes were for the area, who they worked with, socialised with, what they didn’t like about the area, what they loved most about the area, who they didn’t like in the area, etcetera. I had a list of questions I had prepared to direct the conversation but if it went off on a tangent that I thought was interesting I let it go that way.
I learned so many things that I had no clue of prior to the site study. I learned that there is a really strong sense of community among the people that live in the area but that there is also a division between the people that live in social housing and the people that live in privately owned housing. I learned that there is a complete communication breakdown between Dublin City Council and the people living and working in the area. There is a lack of space for young people to hang out in. There is a demand for more cheap hot food outlets in the area and business owners of the area want to see more vibrancy and a change of offerings from just fruit and vegetables. Practically everyone I talked to said they were sad that the area has been so unloved for so long. Again…the list goes on. I’m hoping that the things we’ve learned from our site studies can be put to good use. It’s time the area felt that love that’s been lacking.