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Design Your Own Village

If you were given free rein to re-design your home town or village, what would you do?

Sorcha Nic Aodha
10.11.2018

Would you add in a bakery or neighbourhood park, or perhaps some funky coffee shops? Or maybe replace that ugly 70s building with a community centre, or library, or build an arts centre in the middle of the main street?

Organised by Oranmore Arts Festival, through Galway 2020’s Small Towns Big Ideas programme, ‘It Takes a Village’ is a series of workshops that offers participants the opportunity to allow imaginations to run riot and virtually create the village of their dreams.

With the participation of the community, the project will provide a platform for discussions on the design of the village of Oranmore, supported by experts in the field. It will provide an opportunity to explore and learn about urban design, using a familiar local space.

For each of the workshops, participants will be invited to attend a lecture by an urban design specialist in the morning, followed by tea, coffee and a short discussion. This will be followed by a virtual introduction to the site or local space and some further urban design theory. Following lunch, participants will learn 3D computer modelling skills and will be provided with a 3D model of an existing space in the village, allowing for their own interpretations and ideas to be applied.

The first workshop, taking place on Saturday 17 November, will include a lecture by Kevin Leyden, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at NUI Galway. Professor Leyden’s research focuses primarily on the relationship between urban design, social capital, health, and urban liveability. His most recent paper titled Rethinking Zoning for People: Utilizing the Concept of the Village offers an insightful perspective on the types of places people want to live in and be in.

“We are delighted to present an opportunity for greater input, understanding and appreciation of the unique spaces we have on offer in the West of Ireland and the potential they present for the future development of the towns and villages that act as a backdrop to our everyday lives, says Ciara McDonagh of Oranmore Arts Festival.

“We hope this will allow communities to form a connection with their local spaces and, learning from practices both locally and internationally, establish an informed and cohesive response to the spatial needs of our communities both now and in the future.”

This is the first of four workshops to take place between November 2018 and May 2019. Following the workshop, participants are invited to develop their ideas using free online software and exhibit as part of the Oranmore Arts Festival in May 2019.

Tickets are free but limited, register via Eventbrite.

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