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Image: Cinema Usera (2015) Todo Por La Praxis.
Image: Cinema Usera (2015) Todo Por La Praxis.

Extending Architecture: Training in practices of engaging the public with architecture

An Arts Council training and professional development initiative, managed by Create

As part of its policy and commitment to the public’s engagement with architecture, the Arts Council introduced training for cultural practitioners with an interest in programming, exploring and sharing the cultural and artistic value of architecture with the public. 

Extending Architecture 

In many architectural practices, arts centres, galleries, festivals, civic venues and public spaces around the world, dynamic practitioners are seeking to broaden out the field of architecture beyond the design and construction of buildings alone. This is redefining ideas of architecture, space and place. These examples of ways to engage the public with architectural practices and the presentation of architecture open out a sense of architecture as a platform for collective conversations about the kind of world we live in today.

Over a series of three training sessions participants had the unique opportunity to work with and learn from renowned international practitioners, Todo Por La Praxis (Madrid), Kate Goodwin (London), and Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman (San Diego/Tijuana). Exploring new attitudes, views and opinions on architecture and the built environment internationally and locally, participants attended an evening keynote lecture and then undertook a day long interactive training session with these highly sought after practitioners.



There were three training sessions in early 2016. 

Training Session 1 | Dublin
International Speaker | Todo por la Praxis
Friday 5 February 7-9pm
Saturday 6 February 9.30am-5.30pm
Sean O’Casey Community Centre, Dublin

The first of the Public Talks as part of Extending Architecture took place on 5 February, 2016 in Dublin with Madrid based architects Todo Por La Praxis. Todo por la Praxis is a multidisciplinary group with members from various disciplines like architecture, art, law, design and anthropology. Todo por la Praxis presents its works through an open code, a guerrilla architecture through self-construction, as a methodology that implies a direct responsibility in all of the phases of the project and promotes ownership, participation and empowerment of its users.

Training Session 2 | Galway
International Speaker | Kate Goodwin
Friday 1 April 7-9pm
Saturday 2 April 9.30am-5.30pm
Nun’s Island Theatre
Galway Arts Centre

Kate Goodwin, curator at the Royal Academy (UK) gave the second public talk on on Friday April 1, followed by a training session on the 2nd.

Training Session 3 | Cork
International Speaker | Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman
Friday 29 April 7-9pm in association with the National Sculpture Factory and supported by the Granary Theatre
Saturday 30 April 9.30am-5.30pm
The Granary Theatre - Mardyke, Cork

In association with the National Sculpture Factory


Extending Architecture - International practitioner biographies


Who is it for?

This training is open to architects, artists, arts officers, curators, venue programmers, directors, and community organisers with a special interest in sharing architecture and the built environment with the public. (Note: Participants can claim structured CPD points (RIAI) for attendance at this training.)


How do I sign up?

To express in interest in the training sessions please email Katherine Atkinson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The keynote address presented at an evening lecture was free of charge and open to the public.

Places for the full day training sessions were also free of charge but capacity was limited and required a statement of interest.

Extending Architecture trained individuals in techniques and methods of exploring and sharing architecture with the public by: presenting innovative architectural practices in this area; sharing methods of public programming and collaboration; exploring curating and public mediation techniques; and offering a series of key learning outcomes. 

The learning outcomes of the Extending Architecture training were intended to provide:

  • a clear understanding of what public engagement in architecture is and why it is important; 
  • a clear understanding of the skills required to carry out various forms and types of effective engagement activities that are well organised and properly evaluated ;
  • a working understanding of the communication skills required for this form of practice and how to create engaging content and mediate architecture; 
  • an understanding of funding, budgeting and relevant project management skills including event co-ordination, marketing, health and safety.
  • a deeper awareness of the social and ethical issues that might be raised in the context of this type of practice and a deeper empathy with public values, views, concerns and aspirations 
Sensing Spaces Exhibition (2014), curated by Kate Goodwin. Image: James Harris.
Sensing Spaces Exhibition (2014), curated by Kate Goodwin. Image: James Harris.

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