alterRurality3 Letterfrack 2016-Jun-6-9
3 themes, 6 sessions, 6 keynotes, 6 meals, 4 walks, 4 days
Exploring the futures, opportunities and challenges of rural localities in 21st Century Europe
“We do not belong to those who have ideas only among
books (…). It is our habit to think outdoors – walking, leaping,
climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the
sea where even the trails become thoughtful.” (F. Nietzsche)
alterRurality3 & second ARENA annual conference:
Fieldwork Letterfrack, Ireland 6th to 9th June 2016
Call for abstracts (PDF)
Abstracts of approximately 500 words, accompanied by a short bio, are invited for oral presentations.
February 15th 2016
extended to February 25th 2016
Notice of Acceptance March 15th 2016
What is it?
This is a meeting of local, national and international researchers and practitioners engaged with rural life and interested in its future. We aim to foster multidisciplinary exchanges of knowledge and ideas about art, culture, architecture, farming, design, landscape, planning… and how best to sustain rural places. In gathering together a wide range of experience, by immersing ourselves in place, by walking, talking, looking and listening, and by spending proper time each day to debate a particular theme, we hope to encourage and inspire new dialogues between individuals and across disciplines. Exchanges take place in the field, over lunch, and dinner, and follow on from single plenary presentations that allow all participants to hear and respond to one another.
Who is it for?
Practitioners, researchers, teachers and students in art and design, architecture, farming, landscape architecture, history, archaeology, planning, policy, geography, forestry… and others, who wish to share projects, experiences and thinking about rural life. We seek to engage hand, eye and intellect in a collective, creative process of exploration.
Where is it?
The conference will take place in the GMIT furniture college (designed by O’Donnell and Tuomey Architects) in Letterfrack, Connemara, along the Wild Atlantic Way, on the western edge of Europe. Letterfrack lies within Connemara National Park at the head of Ballinakill harbour.
Travel time from Galway city: two hours by bus.
Day 1: MAKING AND BUILDING. THINGS DONE.
We seek presentations about exemplary projects that grew out of specific places thanks to the genius loci. We’ll focus on the results of fruitful collaborations between people (rural communities, architects, artists, planners, development agencies…) and place, in rural Ireland and across Europe.
Day 2: FUTURE FARMING. WHAT ARE WE
GROWING? BY WHOM FOR WHOM?
We seek presentations about local farming enterprise, by and about farming and fisher families, and small holders, about shellfish and seaweed farming, artisanal foods, slow foods, organic products, agritourism, heritage farming, nature farming, woodland farming and wilderness farming, in rural Ireland and across Europe.
Day 3: CULTURE, FARMING AND HABITAT –
The two final sessions centre on the possibilities of trans-disciplinary exchange and ideas for future models. We seek presentations about useful landscapes, about ecosystems and their services, and about the future production of culture, energy, food and rural community, in Ireland and elsewhere.
All sessions are plenary.
For more info please email
or go to
ARENA Architecture Research Network; Connemara West Plc, Letterfrack; Dublin School of Architecture, DIT, Dublin; GMIT Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Galway; GMIT National Center for Excellence in Furniture Design, Letterfrack; SAUL School of Architecture, UL, Limerick; UCD Architecture & Landscape Architecture, Dublin.