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Urban Toys by Playful City, LabCDMX and Palma. Image courtesy of Leticia Lozano


Create and the Irish Architecture Foundation are delighted to partner to present the City Conversation series.
Welcoming architects, arts collectives, collaborative practitioners, activists, sociologists, planners and geographers, the City Conversation series explores how arts and architectural initiatives engaging with broader civic expertise can animate the public sphere and reimagine our cities, town and neighbourhoods.  We particularly encourage practising architects, artists, planners, geographers and other professionals with a keen interest in more socially engaged and collaborative forms of architecture to attend.

 The first City Conversation takes place on May 30th and features Architects Leticia Lozano (Mexico) Ryan Swanson (US) , Social Enterprise CEO Kate Stewart (UK) and Pete Vance (UK), of Creative Producers International, a cohort of international producers. These guests will explore how producers, artists, architects and community organisers and activists can more effectively make artwork in and for the city of the future, discussing successful and unsuccessful case studies in cities around the world, through the prism of The Playful City ethos. The conversation will be chaired by Nathalie Weadick, Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation.


Where: Studio 6, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios

When: 30th May, 6.30 – 8.00pm

Booking: via Eventbrite


The contributors will also be leading the City Change Masterclass, curated by Michelle Browne as part of her collaborative arts programme ‘The Citizen Cycle’, offered for 15 producers, artists, designers, architects and community organisers and activists who are interested in working in the built environment.




Leticia Lozano, Co-founder & Director of Macia Estud, is passionate about public space, cities and experience creation. As co-founder and director of Macia, she is involved in the development of integral processes that give an answer to urban communities’ real needs and are manifested as placemaking strategies, participation, prototypes or urban public policy recommendations. Leticia has collaborated as an experience designer, creative strategist and play researcher with organisations, governments and universities in Mexico, Italy, UK, Czech Republic and Japan. Leticia has been an associate lecturer at UDLAP, UNARTE and CENTRO, as well as speaker at various panels and conferences.

For the past four years, she collaborated with the Lab for the City — the experimental and creative area of Mexico City’s government— as a Coordinator of Playful City where she researched how play and playfulness can reconfigure urban imaginaries and provoke citizens to take an active role in the process of creating a city. She co-authored "Architecture for Urban Play: Guidelines to design playscapes in Mexico City" and collaborates with articles for various magazines or architecture and design.

Leticia has a BArch from UDLAP, with studies in restoration and set design at Politecnico di Torino and an MA in Narrative Environments from CSM, UAL. She is currently a member of the Creative Producers International program and a Salzburg Global International Fellow.


Ryan Swanson is a creator, architect, place maker and the Founder/ CEO of The Urban Conga, a multidisciplinary design firm that promotes community activity and social interaction through play. They achieve this by creating interactive installations and environments that spark creativity, exploration, and free-choice learning into a variety of spaces. The work ranges from their playable products such as musical public park benches, public ping pong tables, sound sculptures, touch sensor murals to custom immersive environments for both public and private clients. Their work has achieved a multitude of international design awards and publications.

Along with running The Urban Conga, Ryan is also a visiting professor at The University of South Florida School of Architecture and Community Design. Where he is working with students on exploring the importance of different scaled interventions within the urban infrastructure. He also was selected by The British Council as part of fifteen exceptional Creative Producers from all over the world, encouraging a new kind of conversation with creative communities, citizens and city authorities.


Kate Stewart is CEO of Liverpool based Social Enterprise We Make Places where she leads their creative and engagement strategies and curates the annual symposium on citizen-led interventions in the built environment The Maverick City.

Her community engagement role sees her designing and running participative processes to give a voice to the unheard, using culture, conversations and design to challenge perspectives on place. Having started life as a theatre producer and director over 30 years ago, Kate still works as a freelance Creative Producer, her most recent project being the Punk! exhibition at Liverpool Central Library.

In November 2018 she undertook a research trip to South Africa to explore how the We Make Places learning and construction project Urban Workbench could support communities there.

Over the last 30 years Kate has won various business accolades, and was recently named in the WISE100 list recognising Women in Social Enterprise. She is proud to also be one of 15 individuals selected to be part of the Creative Producers International programme alongside her fellow masterclass facilitators.


Pete Vance is the lead producer for Creative Producers International, a talent development programme led by Watershed, developing the capacity and skills of Creative Producers from the UK and around the world to become the city change-makers of the future. His background is in factual television, exploring real people through documentary and finding innovative ways to share their stories with audiences who might not otherwise have access to, or interest in, such different perspectives.


Image: Tania Bruguera's Hyundai Commission, Turbine Hall launch (2018). Credit: Kirsty O’Connor PA.
Image: Tania Bruguera's Hyundai Commission, Turbine Hall launch (2018). Credit: Kirsty O’Connor PA.

Create National Networking Day in Cork

26 September 2019

Join Create and partners Crawford Art Gallery (Cork), Counterpoints Arts (London), Cork City Arts Office and Heart of Glass (St Helens) for Create’s 2019 Networking Day for Collaborative Arts.  The Networking Day will facilitate collective exchange and learning about models of collaborative practice; ways of collaborative working which operate in the interstices between socially engaged arts, community expertise, pedagogy and politics. We look forward to hosting an exciting range of speakers and creating a dynamic space of exchange and learning in order to catalyse, critique and make change.

We will begin the day by exploring key questions surrounding economies of collaborative arts practice and how they relate to questions of spatial justice and social change. A central focus will be on the world-renowned socially engaged artist Tania Bruguera’s Tate Modern Turbine Hall Hyundai Commission. Co-Director of Counterpoints Arts, Áine O’Brien, will discuss with Bruguera the unique challenges initiated by the Turbine Hall commission: how cultural institutions can become places for collective civic action, citizen innovation, how they might catalyse transformative learning and inform new social relations. Bruguera’s work has since activated ways for local residents (called Tate Neighbours) to proactively infiltrate a cultural institution like Tate Modern.

Bruguera will be joined by Dr. Cara Courage, Head of Tate Exchange; Jane Wells, Programme Manager of Tate Exchange, and several Tate Neighbours: Shamus Dark, Charles Yassin, Debra Reiss and Natalie Bell. We will discuss with them how this recent commission re-imagines the public art institution as a place for forging different types of neighbourhood-based relations, where cultural and social policy can be imagined and tested; where what it means to act together as a civic collective can be explored.

Working closely with the Crawford Art Gallery and Cork City Arts Office, the Networking Day will reflect on current cross-city collaborative initiatives and artists’ practices in Cork and the wider region. In the afternoon we will further explore how collaborative arts practice catalyses dialogue between diverse fields of knowledge: popular culture, intercultural issues, social innovation, community and sustainable urban development. Workshops and conversations will be led by, among others, Miguel Amado, Director of Cork Printmakers and Eve Olney of Art, Architecture and Activism.

Sören Meschede, curator and coordinator of Concomitentes, will also join us. Located in Spain, Concomitentes encourages the creation of artistic projects devised and commissioned by groups of citizens. Meschede will outline how the Concomitentes programme emphasises the importance of art in social life, proposing a new system of art production involving the transformation of cultural policy.

In addition, with commissioned artists Mark Storor and Stephen King we will explore the Per Cent for Art commission and community-based project I Can Colour Between the Lines But I Choose Not To, presented and produced by the 2018 Cork Midsummer Festival, with residents and artists in Knocknaheeny, Cork.

In the context of planned commemorations relating to Ireland’s struggle for independence and taking account of how those struggles played out very vividly in Cork, it seems fitting that we close the day with a discussion about the notion of commemoration and the symbolic role of public art given the significance of 2019. To this end, we will be joined by Hamad Nassar, Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation and initiator of Let Our Statues Speak project, to reflect on questions of memory and whose history gets written in or out of the urban fabric in broader processes of commemoration. The Let Our Statues Speak project speaks volumes to the present moment in Cork – a city being actively reshaped against the backdrop of a rich history of struggle and against the contemporary resonances created by Brexit.

Following the Networking Day, on the 27th of September, Counterpoints Arts will facilitate a Learning Lab: Art, Cultural Democracy and the City. This will be an in-depth conversation with key stakeholders and strategic players in the arts and cultural landscape who are influencing the evolving urban fabric of Cork.

The Networking Day promises to open up a space for us all to ask a shared and urgent question: how can collaborative forms of arts practice – engaging with the embodied experiences and knowledge of citizens – initiate and implement real civic agency and significant momentum for social change?

Further updates and programme details will be posted on Create's website.




Check Up Check In 2018. Photo: Philip Cullen.
Check Up Check In 2018. Photo: Philip Cullen.

Check Up Check In 2019

11-12 April
Garter Lane Arts Centre Waterford, Waterford Healing Arts Trust

- Tickets for Arts and Health Check Up Check In 2019 on Thursday 11 April cost €30 (including lunch)
- Tickets for the workshop with Marie Brett, “Sustaining the Self” on Friday 12 April cost €10 and must be booked separately. Places for this workshop are limited, so advance booking is essential.

Create are delighted to partner once again with / Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) to present Arts + Health Check Up Check In 2019.  Following the tremendous success of Check Up Check in 2018 and marking the opening in 2019 of the new South East Palliative Care Centre at University Hospital Waterford (UHW), the theme of this year’s event is Promoting Autonomy, with presentations highlighting the potential for arts programmes in healthcare settings to explore ways for individuals to engage, discover and create, even when faced with a challenging health condition.  In his keynote address, Disruption, Danger and Discipline: When the Artist becomes Leader…, Nigel Hartley will reflect on the role of the artist in end of life care and the artist as leader.  He will further share his vast experience and offer practical advice for negotiating the challenges of working in this important and rewarding area in a workshop setting later in the day.

Uisce Salach (Dirty Water). Photo: Robert Corrigan.
Uisce Salach (Dirty Water). Photo: Robert Corrigan.

Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) is a new collaborative sound art project about contested water issues in Ireland. Softday, the art-science collaboration of artist Sean Taylor and computer scientist Mikael Fernström, are initiating a collaborative art process leading to the creation of a significant citizen’s art-science project based on water analyses from domestic water supplies from the River Liffey, its tributaries in Dublin City and from Dublin Port. The key aim of the project is to enable citizens living and working along the River Liffey to participate in scientific research with creative outcomes. Working with those residents, schools, community organisations, fishing clubs along the river and workers in Dublin Port, the project will synergise science and arts practice using water sampling and creative technology, developing new thinking and new meaning around the sustainability of water resources.

Using established methodologies, Softday will issue water test kits to participating citizen scientist to gather small water samples, (which can be from their own kitchen tap, well, local River Liffey tributary, or whichever source of clean water that matters to them) on World Water Day, Friday 22nd March 2019. Softday will analyse all samples and use the data to construct a map with the underlying data sets, as well as producing a unique sound composition as part of a major multi-media installation, which can be played by humans and computers and shared via the web and social media. The world premier of Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) will be performed live by the Irish Chamber Orchestra in combination with the “Softday Citizen Scientist Ensemble”, a form of public laptop orchestra, in Dublin in November 2019.

Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) will increase awareness of the environmental, economic and social value of water. This project will be facilitated by Dublin Port’s Port Perspectives Engagement and Education Programme to access networks of community organisations around the port as well as port workers and supported by CREATE to reach community and interest groups such as fishermen along the River Liffey. Uisce Salach (Dirty Water) is suported by an Arts Council Arts Participation Project Award 2019.

For twenty years Softday has engaged with issues relating to climate change and its global effects. As an award winning collaborative team they use their arts practice to explore relations to and understandings of nature, expressed through sonifications, multimedia artworks and public performances, such as Amhrán na mBeach (Song of the Bees, 2013-15) and Sounds of the Unthinkable (2018). Softday use various media and creative genres to create art works that speak of the urgent need for social action.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Arts Council funding visual arts logoCreate logoPerspectives logoSoftday logo

Creative Time Summit 2018

Creative Time Summit 2018 - Dublin screening & panel discussion

Join us for this international convening for thinkers, dreamers, and doers working at the intersection of art and politics

As an official off-site host, Create, Fire Station Artists’ Studios and the National College of Art and Design’s MA in Socially Engaged Art and Further Education are delighted to partner again to host this exciting live streaming of the Creative Time Summit, an annual presentation of the world’s leading socially engaged artists and activists, coming this year direct from Miami, Florida.

Date: Friday 2 November 2018
Time: 3-11pm
Venue: Harry Clarke lecture theatre, National College of Art & Design, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8
Admission: Free (registration recommended)
Optional dinner by Luncheonette: €10 per person (registration required, payment in cash on the night)
More info & Reserve your place:

This year the Summit is titled On Archipelagos and Other Imaginaries: Collective Strategies to Inhabit the World, with four thematic sections:

•    On boundaries and a borderless future
•    Facing climate realities, reimagining a green future
•    Towards an intersectional justice
•    Resisting displacement and violence

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