The Irish Ministry for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have announced Free Market as the theme of the Irish Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. A team of curators—including Laurence Lord (AP+E), Orla Murphy (Custom), Jeffrey Bolhuis (AP+E), Jo Anne Butler (Culturstruction), Tara Kennedy (Culturstruction), and Miriam Delaney (DIT)—will present an exhibition which explores the common space of market towns in Ireland.
[The exhibition] will highlight the generosity, humanity and possibility in the common spaces of Ireland’s market towns. Once the economic and social hubs of rural Ireland, small town marketplaces have undergone fundamental change in recent times. Indeed, many have seen their function as places of exchange and congregation diminished. The project proposes to reclaim these places of interaction and community. It will also build on the research of the team and others, and on the lived experience of these spaces, to re-imagine the shared urban territory of the small town marketplace.
"As we know," the Irish Minister in charge Heather Humphreys TD stated, "these spaces are hugely important for rural communities in our country, and for economic and social engagement in our towns. However, this is also a theme with global resonance." Ireland’s presence at the forthcoming Venice Architecture Biennale is bolstered by the fact that the Artistic Directors leading the event are Irish; Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton Architects will be responsible for the exhibition's message, angle, and contributions.
As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show. Our report is a reflection on the lessons learnt through designing and revisiting buildings for people with dementia.