Reimagine Projects Around Ireland

Reimagine Pocket Guides

Created by leading thinkers in Architecture and Placemaking

Pocket Guide 2

Building Capacity for Placemaking

Alan Mee

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Pocket Guide 3

Accessibility and Inclusion in Placemaking

Emma Geoghegan

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Pocket Guide 4

Trauma Informed Placemaking

Dr Cara Courage and Dr Anita McKeown

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Reimagine Professional Panel

Get in touch to find out about working with our panel of architectural, placemaking, spatial, and design professionals.

Ailish Drake
Ailish Drake

Ailish Drake, Architect, founded Drake Hourigan Architects with Conor Hourigan in 2007. Based in Limerick, the practice focuses on adaptive re-use of existing buildings, conservation, and landscape design and see meaningful community engagement as integral to the design process. The practice won the RIAI Public Choice Award in 2019 for An Ríocht, a special needs extension to a national school.
Ailish holds a Masters in History of Art and Architecture (18th Century Designed Landscapes) from University of Limerick and an RHS Certificate in Horticulture. She won a silver medal at Bloom in 2014 for her medieval garden sponsored by Limerick City of Culture.
Ailish is Chair of the Limerick Chapter of the Irish Georgian Society which curates an annual lecture series, promotes the protection of Georgian Limerick and supports the restoration of Georgian railings with a grant scheme.
As the national spokesperson for the Irish Pedestrian Network, Ailish initiated a national response to Covid-19 by bringing together cycling and pedestrian advocates in seeking more space in towns and cities for people, which in Limerick became the #WeNeedSpace campaign.
Ailish was selected for the jury panel for the RIAI Awards 2020 and the Arts Council Architecture Grant Award 2020. She attends as a guest lecturer in the School of Architecture in UL and at UCD School of Architecture and regularly contributes to the discourse around architecture, public realm and place-making and the importance of people first design in both print and broadcast media.

Alan Mee
Alan Mee
Urban Designer, Architect & Researcher

Alan Mee is a built environment consultant, researcher, urban designer and architect working in urbanism, architecture, and education. He has published and spoken widely on spatial aspects of dramatic change in the Irish designed environment, and is a part-time Senior Lecturer in urban design at the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, at University College Dublin. In 2017 he completed a PhD entitled: ‘Exploring, evaluating and visualising spatial complexity of urban sites’.

Amberlea Neely
Amberlea Neely
Creative Practitioner & Consultant

Amberlea Neely is a Northern Irish based creative practitioner and consultant working with projects and organisations that connect to place.

Amberlea founded Starling Start (2019), a practice with a focus on arts, place and collaboration. Before this she was Acting Director at PLACE, which operated at the cutting edge of creative, intelligent and inclusive public engagement in the built environment in Northern Ireland. Amberlea was Chair of NI’s largest visual art festival, Belfast Photo Festival which uses the public realm as the gallery, and she was a founding director of Platform Arts which was one of Belfast’s first meanwhile projects housed in the vacant upper floors of a city centre building. Amberlea has been a part of placemaking initiatives with a range of partners, from local residents to senior government officials and community representatives, designers and academics.

Recent projects include:

A co-commission (with Studio idir) by the Department of Justice to liaise with Belfast residents, developing ideas for the future of a peace wall in North Belfast;
9ft in Common, which is an investigation into ownership, access and disruption of an infrastructure of alleyways in Belfast (in collaboration with Studio idir);
Creative engagement for an Arts and Heritage Strategy as part of Translink’s new Belfast Transport Hub (with Haller Clarke);
An appointment by Belfast City Council as artist-in-residence (along with Dr Conor McCafferty) as part of the Creative Communities programme.
Amberlea has an MSc in Cultural Management, a PGCert in Executive Leadership and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art.

Connect The Dots
Connect The Dots
Stakeholder & Community Engagement

Connect the Dots is a stakeholder and community engagement firm based in Dublin and Philadelphia that brings together community and public sector partners to develop innovative and actionable solutions for our towns and cities. We work alongside local collaborators & partners to craft insight-driven engagement processes that foster participation, build consensus, and re-imagine the future of our communities.

Deirdre Greaney
Deirdre Greaney
Architect & Urban Designer

Deirdre Greaney is an Architect + Urban Designer working in architecture, urban design, place-making,
research and education.

Over the past 18 years she has worked independently and in award-winning small and large-scale multi-
disciplinary design and research practices in Ireland, Finland, New York and The Netherlands on projects that addressed place-making, the civic realm, housing and the development of social, community and cultural infrastructure. From active engagement in research and practice, Deirdre has experience delivering projects that transfer knowledge in support of economic, social and cultural development.

Her research focuses on: urban design and the contemporary Irish Town; urban renewal and extensions;
social space and collective territories. Irish in focus, framed in a European context, her research has
been disseminated and published in Ireland, France, Italy, Portugal, and The Netherlands.
Deirdre was a former Course Director of the Architecture Programmes at Ulster University, sat on The
Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) Council and was a Member of the Northern Ireland MinisterialAdvisory Group (MAG) for Architecture and the Built Environment 2014-2018. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA); Member of The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (MRIAI) and sits on the All Ireland Architectural Research Group (AIARG) Steering Committee.

A native of Galway, back living in the West of Ireland, Deirdre’s current work centres on developing the
first programme of Architecture in the ‘Creative West’ at IT Sligo Yeats Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture, where she lectures on Architecture and Urban Design since 2018. Her interests are in multi- and inter-disciplinary collaborative projects that engage the arts, design, architecture and the region; create conditions for openness and reimagine place and building on the Irish Atlantic Edge of Europe.


BSc. Arch, BArch, MSc. Urban Design, MRIAI, FHEA

Emma Geoghegan
Emma Geoghegan
Architect, Urban Designer & Educator

Emma Geoghegan is an architect, urban designer and educator engaged in the design of beautiful, purposeful and resilient places for people. Since 2007 her practice has focused on the design and delivery of residential, social care and educational buildings for people with a broad range of abilities and needs. In parallel, her research and teaching practice has been driven by a commitment to the social purpose of architecture and inclusive design principles and embedding this in architectural education.

From 2007-2017 Emma was a partner in MEME Architecture a collaborative design practice working on projects in the UK and Ireland. Since 2017 Emma has continued to work in collaborative private practice and consultancy work in the areas of social inclusion and accessibility alongside her role as Chair of the Bachelor of Architecture programme at TU Dublin. She was Chairperson of Carlow Arts Festival from 2016-2020 and is a board member of Arts and Disability Ireland.

Esther Gerrard
Esther Gerrard
Landscape Architect & Project Manager

Esther is a designer and multidisciplinary consultant working in design, project management and facilitation across sectors such as construction, healthcare, community and landscape design She is currently a partner of Elements of Action, an award-winning collaborative design practice and co-director of the creative collective: Green Edge whose goal is to celebrate biodiversity and sustainability, encouraging and inspiring people on a local level to use their city and places more who specialising in showcasing change and innovative styles of engagement.


Evelyn D’Arcy
Evelyn D’Arcy
Architect & Educator

Evelyn an architect and educator with a passion for helping people to develop a stronger connection to their world. She believes everyone has intrinsic creative ability and is happiest when observing the growing confidence and sense of pride in those who think they “can’t”.
As a creative practitioner with the IAF and Dublin City Council Culture Company, Evelyn has facilitated projects with people of all ages, from pre-schoolers to retirees, both in community and in school environments.

Notable experiences include:
A collaborative “vertical learning” project across three levels of education, resulting in the construction of a student break-out space in the grounds of a secondary school
An inner-city school canteen refurbishment which came about following her participation as a facilitator in The IAF’s National Architects in Schools Initiative in its inaugural year in 2013.
The facilitation of a workshop series with groups of primary school children in imagining improvements to their local communities
Working with a women’s art group to develop a design for a living willow installation for their local park.
Assisting students to develop set and lighting arrangements for a school theatrical production in the Axis Theatre, Ballymun.
Working with a secondary school group to explore the design brief for the new Finglas library, with the incorporation of the research package into the formal brief for the new building.
Evelyn sat on the Dublin City Council Culture Advisory Panel from 2017 -19. She is currently a member of the recently formed Dublin working group ACCESS, a project focusing on the importance of cultural inclusion within the European programme, URBACT. Work and learnings from this project will feed into Dublin City Council’s new Cultural Strategy due to be published in 2021. Evelyn is also an occasional guest lecturer in UCD School of Architecture.

Orla Murphy
Orla Murphy
Architect & Lecturer

Orla Murphy is an architect, lecturer in UCD School of Architecture Planning and Environmental Policy and co-director (with Philip Crowe) of UCD Centre for Irish Towns (CfIT). Orla’s practice and research is focused on rural Irish towns, their cultural identity and morphology, and the relationship between people and place. As a former recipient of the Arts Council’s Kevin Kieran Award, Orla published her research on towns in TOWN: Origins, Morphology and Future in 2012.

In 2018, Orla along with five colleagues co-curated Free Market, the Irish Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, with an exhibition that explored the past, present and future of public space in Irish towns. The exhibition toured to four towns: Castleblayney, Macroom, Mountmellick and Killmallock in 2019. Orla co-presents the RTÉ documentary series Building Ireland, now in its third series. She lives in Westport Co. Mayo and continues to advocate for towns as thriving people-centred urban places

Rebecca Blake
Rebecca Blake
Creative Producer & Curator

My curatorial and creative practice is focused on engaging people of all ages in art, architecture and place-making. I collaborate with artists, designers, young people, schools and community groups to design exciting and innovative creative experiences that are playful and inspire a greater sense of identity, ownership and citizenship. I currently work as a Creative Associate for the Arts Council Creative Schools programme.

Previously I held the post of Education Curator for the Irish Architecture Foundation where I led the community engagement process and design competition for the Play Park in Ballyfermot. Before that I worked in London for the Tate galleries on various projects engaging young people and community groups in the Tate Collection and place-making both on and off site as well as online.

Sean Fogarty
Sean Fogarty

Sean is a Dublin based architect. He has worked as design collaborator on several community-driven projects which seek to improve the public realm through the promotion of active, diverse, and inclusive environments. His research on the topic of skateboarding and urban design has featured in publications such as Architecture Ireland, Goblin Magazine and the Signal House Edition.’

Wessel Badenhorst
Wessel Badenhorst
Placemaking Consultant

Wessel Badenhorst, formerly an economic development officer in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, is a lead expert in the EU’s URBACT Programme that supports cities to work together on integrated urban development themes. In 2011, he completed a training course in New York with Project for Public Spaces (PPS) on Placemaking. Since then he conducted training workshops in a number of cities including during the URBACT Festival in Lisbon in 2018 and the Merging the Split Conference in Zadar in 2019.

In 2020, together with international placemaking expert Cynthia Nikitin, he facilitated an online placemaking training programme in Cork City, with the participants in this 5 week programme ranging from Council officials, design professionals to community leaders.

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Wessel came to Ireland in 2000 and lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow. He holds a MBA degree from Dublin City University together with degrees in Law and Psychology from the University of Pretoria.

Video Archive

Watch back some of our Reimagine events

Video Archive: Trauma-Informed Placemaking
  • Video Archive: Trauma-Informed Placemaking


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    Video Archive: New Life for Old Buildings
    • Video Archive: New Life for Old Buildings


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    Video Archive: Communities in Transition
    • Video Archive: Communities in Transition


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      Video Archive: Reimagine Cafe – Funding Placemaking
      • Video Archive: Reimagine Cafe – Funding Placemaking


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        Video Archive: Reimagine Masterclasses
        • Video Archive: Reimagine Masterclasses


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          Video Archive: Public Realm
          • Video Archive: Public Realm


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            Video Archive: The Creative Bureaucrat
            • Video Archive: The Creative Bureaucrat


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              ESSAY: Things could always be otherwise: The value of community-centred  design. Daisy Froud.
              • ESSAY: Things could always be otherwise: The value of community-centred design. Daisy Froud.


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                Check out our Download Library

                If you are an organisation that wants to contribute Placemaking resources to our Download Library, get in touch!


                Want to explore more?
                Here are some organisations we love.

                The Heritage Council
                Irish Walled Towns Network
                Public Space Network
                In Commons
                Workhouse Union
                PLACE NI (Archive)
                Project for Public Space
                Creative Ireland
                The Glass-House
                Free Market
                The Academy of Urbanism
                Journal of Public Space
                Self Organised Architecture
                Street Feast
                Urban Land Institute
                Metropolitan Workshop

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