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This Is Not My Beautiful House II
Photo Credit: The Decorators.

This Is Not My Beautiful House II


30 May 2017

9:30 – 17:30

The Studio, Lexicon, Dun Laoghaire

Seminar as part of Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival 2017

A seminar to be held in Dun Laoghaire at the end of May will bring together a wide range of national and international experts from the disciplines of architecture, culture, gerontology and social sciences to explore the role and impact of living spaces and places as we get older.

This is Not My Beautiful House II is a seminar as part of Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival 2017. As we get older, the spaces and places we inhabit need to be more connected, accessible, and secure, without compromising on beauty. This is Not My Beautiful House II, which is developed in partnership with Create, the National Development Agency for collaborative arts and the Irish Architecture Foundation, is the second in a series of Bealtaine seminars exploring key issues impacting on our social, economic and cultural rights to adequate housing, public space and cultural and creative lives as we get older.

The seminar will specifically look at how the arts and creativity can generate debate about choice, participation and rights, with, and for, older people in relation to the planning and design of social and built communities. It will also consider how collaborative arts and architectural practices can influence a paradigm shift in how, as a society, we think about housing and public space beyond a top down and market-led model, to more community orientated and sustainable frameworks.

Over the course of a day, the seminar will draw on current trends in research, policy, planning and creative practices engaged in developing alternative designs for intergenerational living within a spatial justice frame. We interpret spatial justice as the organisation – in terms of the acquisition, development and management – of public spaces and places and how these processes generate forms of justice (and injustice) in societies.

This event is aimed at policy makers, researchers, architects, artists, planners and older people active in housing issues as well as the general public.

Opening Address Helen McEntee T.D., Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People

Chaired by Caitriona Crowe (Academic and Archivist)

Keynote Prof Jan Baars (philosopher/critical gerontologist based in the Netherlands)


  • The Decorators (multi-disciplinary design practice based in the UK)
  • Joe Coveney (Irish Artist, Designer, Maker)
  • Prof. Mary Corcoran (sociologist at Maynooth University)
  • Prof. Gerry Kearns (political geographer at Maynooth University)
  • Jack Keyes (consultant and former manager in Cavan County Council)
  • Dr. Deirdre O Mahony (artist)
  • Dr. Sophie Handler (Age Friendly Manchester)
  • Fionnuala Rogerson (architect and member of RIAI Universal Design Task Force)
  • Sinead Shannon from HaPAI (the Healthy and Positive Ageing Outcomes Initiative)
  • Dr. Christine McGarrigle from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)
  • Sarah Wigglesworth (architect and formerly Professor of Architecture at the University of Sheffield)
  • Lois Weaver (Artist and Professor of Contemporary Performance, Queen Mary University, London)

This event is brought to you with thanks to Eccelesiastical Insurance and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

Partners: Create; Irish Architecture Foundation, Age and Opportunity as part of Bealtaine Festival 2017. The Bealtaine Festival is made possible through the funding support of The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion.

About Create

Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts. Create supports artists across artform working in the collaborative sphere and groups who want to work with artists on contemporary and innovative collaborative arts projects. Create supports opportunities, projects & initiatives for the development of collaborative arts, nationally and internationally.

About Irish Architecture Foundation

The Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) has an established network and track record in delivering major projects primarily aimed at developing audiences for architecture in Ireland, while also raising the profile of Irish architecture abroad. Our programme of exhibitions, talks, film screenings, symposia, competitions, publications, school and community workshops, is intended to generate dialogue as well as critically engage a diverse public. The IAF was established in 2005, and our vision is to continue to deliver a programme that is topical, important and essential from both an international and national perspective. Our objectives are to be aware of and reflect the critical thinking in architecture practice, academia, research and education, and to encourage initiatives that push the boundaries on definitions of architecture and its effect on society, culture and community.

About Age & Opportunity

Age & Opportunity is the national organisation that inspires everyone to reach their full potential as they age. Our goal is to turn the period from age 50 onwards into one of the most satisfying times in people’s lives, by facilitating:

  • opportunities to engage in arts and cultural activities
  • opportunities for sport and physical activity
  • opportunities to learn and be involved as active citizens

Irish Architecture Foundation
Age & Opportunity

Age & Opportunity, Create, and the IAF: This Is Not My Beautiful House II Video