Daithi MacLaimhin, Design Team
The morning started with a 04:30 wake-up call. First the tube and then Stansted express. 07:30 flight from London to Belfast City, this is a trip that I make quite often to my adopted home Belfast, where I have lived for the last 3 years, and studied in Queen’s University Belfast. I started studying my part 2 in Architecture, and then moved on to study business and management.
I was on my way to Belfast to attend and speak at a seminar: Architects in International Development. This seminar is given by Article 25 to recruit support and raise awareness.
Firstly, I found PLACE. This is a venue I frequented whilst studying in Belfast. PLACE is a built environment charity which focuses on planning, landscaping and architecture in Belfast. I met event organiser, Connor from PLACE and he had very kindly helped find an audience and helped with all the preparation at the venue.
I had promoted the event on Facebook, designing a poster and getting in touch with key architects and contacts in Belfast. Over 30 people attended the seminar; the small venue was packed!
The seminar began with a great introduction by Katja Ortiz (Education and Communications Team) who talked about Article 25, the disaster response cycle and the wider international development concepts that inform the work we do. I then presented a case study: Uganda Vocational Training Centre for Former Child Soldiers.
I described the early design stages of the project through to the final stages of construction highlighting the issues of building in Africa; weather issues, design problems, sourcing materials etc. and how these issues are overcome.
I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm and depth of knowledge of those who attended as many of them were part 1 Architecture students and planners.
At the end of the seminar, we asked the audience to get involved with Article 25 by starting a Student Chapter support group in Belfast. We hope this will be a success and can’t wait for the first Student Chapter in Northern Ireland to get started and become further involved with Article 25.
I would like to extend my many thanks to Connor, Gary and the team at PLACE for all their hard work.