Park(ing) Day

Gathering Seeds

outside Restaurant 104, Drumcondra, Dublin 

The 'park' as viewed by road users on the busy Drumcondra Road.   Black frames were made by Andy Byrne, local carpenter at Dalymount interiors, gratefully received for this non-profit intervention.

The 'park' as viewed by road users on the busy Drumcondra Road. 

Black frames were made by Andy Byrne, local carpenter at Dalymount interiors, gratefully received for this non-profit intervention.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual daylong global event where artists, designers and activists work together to temporarily transform metered car park spaces into public amenity spaces. The original concept was developed in San Fransisco ten years ago by Rebar, an interdisciplinary art and design studio.

In 2005 over 70% of San Francisco's down town outdoor space was reserved for cars. Rebar s installation was a response to the over reliance on private vehicles. Today Park(ing) Day is a global “open source” project, which has been adapted to address social issues in urban contexts around the world. The themes of the various interventions have been varied ranging from free bike shops, to play zones, art installations , political seminars, and urban farms. 

Park(ing) Day takes place annually on the third Friday in September, in hundreds of cities around the globe. This is the forth year that Dublin City Council has supported the project.

My concept was to transform a car park space on the main Drumcondra Road, one of the main transport arteries to Dublin city, into an urban oasis. The goal was to make the most of a small space, a space where people can engage with nature and feel like there are surrounded by an expanse of green. The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin gave permission to collect and display a number of seeding plants including artichokes, evening primrose, nigella, agapanthas and sunflower heads, which in turn were given to interested passers by to sow in their gardens.

Relaxing with a hot chocolate

Relaxing with a hot chocolate

The 'park'viewed from the pedestrian lights

The 'park'viewed from the pedestrian lights

Early morning set up

Early morning set up

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Dried Artichoke heads

Dried Artichoke heads

Marie Keating Design Proposal

When sponsorship was proving difficult to come by for my Bloom 'Generation Garden'  I adapted the design to fit a brief proposed by the Marie Keating Foundation and Roche. The design wasn't chosen to be built in Bloom 2016 but I really like the sentiment behind the proposal.

This proposed garden is a platform for sharing the stories of survivorship from the Marie Keating 'Out the Other Side' campaign. It's an expression of people coming together, reaching out and sharing experiences.

It's rich planting of alliums, echinacea and foxtail lilies suggests growth, uplifting joy and a sense of hope. Grasses and drumstick alliums grow between the pavement connecting the stories and flowing into the sunken garden.

The sunken area becomes a haven for contemplation and rest,with ferns and woodland planting, a quiet space to reflect on a hammock made from the donated bras of a community of women.

The garden draws on the strength of the community- a community of brave women sharing their stories, kind women donating their bras, and talented NCAD students reworking the fabrics to create the hammock.

I also proposed drawing on the generosity of the public and their crafty skills to knit hundreds of breasts to be displayed on the cut birch trunks seen in the foreground of the image. The fun element would marry well with the hammock, it would be memorable but mostly it would demonstrate the will of others to reach out and help those who are fighting this horrible disease.

 

This great image of  91 yr old Coral Charles Dunne shows her knitting breasts, which are then used as an educational tool for breast feeding mothers.

This great image of  91 yr old Coral Charles Dunne shows her knitting breasts, which are then used as an educational tool for breast feeding mothers.

Bloom Garden Show Adventures

Bloom is Irelands largest garden festival held annually in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

It started with a series of ideas about how to make a space that would suit the needs of three generations both aesthetically and in terms of functionality and play in a medium sized garden 10x8metres.

 

The Process:

A show garden, similar to a stage, sets the scene for potential use. Creating a series of focal points was important in keeping the viewer engaged in the space as they move around the busy show grounds.

Ideas about how to create a garden that can capture the theme of intergenerations passing on of shared knowledge and interests were explored.

 

Notions about linking spaces, flow, textures and functionality of the garden began to emerge

Notions about linking spaces, flow, textures and functionality of the garden began to emerge

The initial plan drawing 

The initial plan drawing 

   The plan developed when working in three dimensions..... Understanding the views into and around the space helps to make decisions regarding concepts, shapes, forms, textures, levels and the overall function and feel of the space.   

 

The plan developed when working in three dimensions..... Understanding the views into and around the space helps to make decisions regarding concepts, shapes, forms, textures, levels and the overall function and feel of the space.

 

Sections are drawn to work out heights 

Sections are drawn to work out heights 

A 3D mock up of the show garden.

The theme: It's an intergenerational garden where gardening methods, tastes and needs are shared and enjoyed over three generations.

Medicinal plants are interspersed with plants chosen for more aesthetic reasons. Banana skins are dug into the soil to enrich it, recycled rainwater pumps to the water feature /child's play area. Bee hives are located behind a screen of corten steel, allowing views in through the mesh that prompts the bees to fly high. Sculptural poles or 'chopsticks' house bird feeders with technology attached to track bird and monitor growth in the garden creating ‘Garden Metrics’ that can be published on the web.

The garden highlights how three generations interests and knowledge can enrich each other's lives.

The future: This was my first entry to the Bloom Garden Show and the design work was well received and approved by the GAG committee, but, and there's often a BUT - gaining sponsorship to achieve the build was another challenge altogether, one to be tackled again next year, June 2017.