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Defining “Sense of Place”: View of the Local in Ireland, Part 1

A recent trip to Dublin gave Gensler's Li Wen an opportunity to reflect on the techniques Irish architects have used to establish a sense of place and create a truly local architecture. Pulp Press Gallery, A2 Architects.

Back in March, I was invited to speak about “sense of place” at a conference sponsored by Enterprise Ireland in association with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland during their Built Environment Week. Preparing for my presentation in Dublin gave me cause to think more about that which is at the heart of our practice.

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Three Design Lessons Learned in Military Deployments

Image © Ryan Hopkins

Architecture is a profession noted for its creativity, but those who practice it know another side of the profession: it involves intricate collaboration among multiple decision-makers, which creates a certain level of stress and complexity. Finding ways to foster creativity while balancing the needs inherent in decision-making, meeting budgets and delivering projects on time is challenging.

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Answering a Call for Equality

“Leveraging the power of design to create a better world.” Never before has the need to live up to that tagline been more urgent, especially for those of us in Baltimore. As designers and residents of this city, we help shape its urban fabric. We play some small part in furthering Baltimore’s transition from fractured industrial hub to unified modern metropolis.

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Barbican Pop-Up Garden

The new pop-up garden at the London Underground's Barbican station. Image © Gensler

Every day we Londoners make our way through the urban jungle. Our daily routines bring us together with strangers and friends alike and together we endure some of the more dire spaces that our modern metropolis produces. And yet we discover opportunities in the strangest places to improve our urban environment and perhaps put a smile on the faces of our fellow urbanites.

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It Takes a Village: Prototyping an Engaging Market Street in San Francisco  

The Market Street Prototyping Festival

The city of San Francisco recently embarked on its inaugural Market Street Prototyping Festival (MSPF). The festival included three days of displaying interactive prototypes built by local designers, artists and residents that look to improve the city’s busy thoroughfare. Like Broadway in New York City or the Champs Elysees in Paris, Market Street is truly the heart of San Francisco. Yet at times, it can feel uninviting and disconnected.

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