Architecture at the Edge (AATE) and Galway Culture Company announce the three selected project teams for Design Lab bursaries programme 2024

Architecture at the Edge (AATE) and Galway Culture Company announce the three selected project teams for Design Lab bursaries programme 2024. 

The aim of these bursary awards is to provide an opportunity and support for creative practitioners from or living in Galway City and County to develop a workshop-based  schools program that invites young people to be part of a creative design process that results in a real design for a space or place to build.

Over the course of the program, young people will not only learn about, but take part in and manage the design and build process from start to finish. With the guidance of our Design Lab ambassadors, students will channel their ideas and inspiration into creating a real, tangible, design for a large-scale build. 

You can read more about the project here.

Meet the artists: 

Bursary Award Artists Spotlight | Cormac Adams & Sean Connolly

Cormac Adams | 

Cormac Adams, from Corofin, recently completed his BSc in Architecture at UCD and is now working in practice as a Part I Architecture Assistant at Sean Dockry & Associates, Galway. In his last year of college he was acting Auditor of UCD’s Architecture Society while also working as a student curator for The Building Change Programme, UCD.

His recent work has focused on exploring the Irish vernacular and landscape, utilizing both as tools for progressive and circular architectural thought and practice. This is seen in his recent work curating the ‘As an gCeo’ (‘Out of the Fog’) exhibition, which is currently being exhibited in the Solstice Arts Centre, Navan. 

Seam Connolly | 

Sean Connolly, originally from Turloughmore in Galway. With a passion for the arts and creativity, he is now based in Dublin, pursuing a B.A. in Fine Art at TUD. His work has been featured in various exhibitions, including The Holy Art Gallery’s “Oppositions” virtual exhibition in London. In 2022, he was a featured artist on the RTÉ series ‘This Is Art’.

Sean’s artistic practice encompasses sculpture, painting, and filmmaking, delving into the interplay of space, form, and structure. He is especially intrigued by the potential of found materials, incorporating them into his work to craft dynamic and compelling pieces.

Bursary Award Artists Spotlight |  Brian O’Curnain + Eduard Valenzuela 

Brian O’Curnain | 

Brian Ó Curnáin, an architectural graduate from Connemara in Galway, is dedicated to enhancing Ireland’s building culture by fostering public appreciation for high-quality, sustainable architecture. During his university studies, he focused on creating spatially and formally interesting designs that prioritise decarbonisation and reuse to address the climate crisis. Brian is passionate about bridging the gap between architects and the general public, especially young people, by reimagining how we communicate and collaborate with the community. He has worked for the architectural practices Scott Tallon Walker, Boyd Cody, and MGNÉ Architects. Recently, he displayed a piece in the Solstice Centre in Navan as part of the ‘In Search Of Hy Brasil’ Exhibition. 

Eduard Valenzuela | 

Eduard Valenzuela, a Dublin native with a rich connection to the Philippines, is dedicated to enriching community design, sustainable architecture, and public realm projects in both Ireland and the UK. Passionate about integrating marginalised voices into architectural conversations, Eduard’s work is informed by his diverse cultural background. Currently working in London with Nooma Studio, an ‘Architects Journal 40 under 40,’ practise renowned for its emphasis on community engagement and place specific design. Eduard’s career has been marked by a focus on creating environmentally sustainable designs that foster public appreciation for quality architecture. His vision is to transform how architects engage with communities, ensuring inclusivity and representation in the built environment.

Design Lab Bursaries Artists Spotlight |  Brian Kelly & Grace Gacquin x Dérive

Brian Kelly | 

Brian is currently a student of Architecture at TU Dublin. He has recently completed his year-out experience in London working with Floyd Slaski Architects as an architectural assistant. Growing up in the west of Ireland, he has developed a strong interest in the environment and design within the surrounding landscape. He has worked on realising projects outside of university at 1:1 scale following a successful competition entry alongside Grace and other fellow university students for an installation at the Electric Picnic. 

Grace Gacquin | 

Grace, is also studying architecture at TU Dublin. Having recently returned from working in London for Paul Smith Design, she has gained a renewed appreciation for her west of Ireland architectural heritage. Grace, has an interest in the creative re-use of existing buildings, especially within rural communities. Realising projects at 1:1 has developed her fresh understanding of the challenges involved with design in rural landscapes.

Both Brian and Grace are also recipients of The Seamus Barrett Scholarship Programme which celebrates the life and achievements of Seamus Barrett as one of the most successful and highly acclaimed businessmen in the west of Ireland. The Scholarship is awarded to three TU Dublin students enrolled in Construction or Built Environment undergraduate programmes, who hail from “West of the River Shannon”.

Brian & Grace have partnered with @LINA fellows @derive.practice.eu to deliver the project. A collaboration founded by Hedwig van der Linden and Kevin Westerveld, Dérive is a research-driven practice operating between architecture, public space and urban strategies.

Hedwig van der Linden | 

Hedwig trained as an architect at Delft University of Technology and is co-founder of design practice Dérive, operating from Brussels and Rotterdam. She gained experience as a researcher at the Chair of Area Development in Delft on the role of design research as a strategic tool and at Architecture Workroom Brussels she worked on design and cultural production for the transformation of the social and physical living environment. Hedwig is a guest tutor at the Amsterdam University of the Arts, the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and at the Faculty of Architecture in Delft. 

Kevin Westerveld  |

Kevin studied architecture at Delft University of Technology and ETH Zürich. After working at international offices such as OMA and 51N4E, he co-founded design practice Dérive – based in Brussels and Rotterdam. Kevin seeks synergy between conceptual thinking and co-creative practice by providing space for dialogue and creating local coalitions within complex transition challenges – consciously starting from the qualities and resources of existing habitats. Kevin is a guest tutor at the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and at the Faculty of Architecture in Delft.