24 April 2013: Arts Council supported ‘Architects-in-Schools’ Scheme Announced

The Arts Council is delighted to announce that Ruairi Quinn TD Minister for Education and Skills launched the National Architects in Schools initiative today. The Scheme will be run by the Irish Architecture Foundation.

Speaking at the event Ruari Quinn TD, Minister for Education and Skills said "I welcome the introduction of the Irish Architecture Foundation's National Architects in Schools Initiative. It is reassuring to see that there is a very real commitment across government departments to fostering creative thinking and architectural awareness in Ireland's young people. "

Co-funded by the Arts Council, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Government Policy on Architecture implementation programme 2013, the National Architects-in-Schools Initiative will provide students with first-hand experience of the design process, presenting an opportunity to use design thinking and innovation under the guidance of an architect or architecture graduate. The programme will be supported by on-line resources and a new IAF publication for students, teachers and architects called My Architecture Design Journal.

Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council said: "The Arts Council has been fully committed to supporting the initiation of this Scheme in recent years. Architecture provides children with an exceptionally tangible artform from which they can develop opinions and tools to better understand and influence their environment. We are very excited to support the scheme in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht."

Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht commented on the launch noting: "One of the main aims of our policy on architecture is to encourage people to see its cultural and artistic value. Our built environment also impacts hugely on how we live, work and learn. The skills that are used to design and construct our surroundings are fundamentally important to our quality of life."

"The commitment by the funding partners to this initiative demonstrates a real investment in the future of architecture in Ireland. It is a vote of confidence in the IAF's mission to promote the cultural value of architecture and indicates we are best placed to deliver educational initiatives that do the same" said Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Chairperson, Irish Architecture Foundation
This nationwide initiative will support specifically trained architects to link with schools over a two-year period. Architects will collaborate with teachers on making architecture relevant to students, while also encouraging them to foster a sense of ownership of their built environment. The initiative is designed to compliment the aims of Transition Year and will connect to the second-level schools syllabus, providing rich opportunities for cross-curricular learning and supporting student’s vocational and personal development.

Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.

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