As part of Irish Design 2015, Emmett was invited to participate in New Horizon, Architecture from Ireland, the flagship architecture initiative of the year of Irish Design. New Horizon was curated by Raymund Ryan and Nathalie Weadick.
Emmett was invited to make an exhibition of the work of nine other Irish architects. The first iteration of Nine Lives, the title of the exhibition, was presented at the Design Museum as part of the London Architecture Festival in June 2015. The exhibition was extended and redesigned as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival later in 2015.
Working ethnographically, Emmett visited each of the nine ‘rooms’ included in the exhibition and talked to each owner/occupier. Focusing on built work of each of the nine architects, the curatorial idea was to present these rooms at the moment of completion and in use. The thesis is that architecture exists between design and use and both architectural design and day-to-day occupation and use of buildings are both creative acts – different but equal. This could be seen in the extraordinary care and level of design by each architect and in how occupants adapted, modified and interpreted the buildings over time in concert with their everyday lives.
Each room was presented in London using a pair of photographs – one commissioned by the architects when the buildings were complete and one selected from a series commissioned by the curator and made in the weeks before the exhibition opened.
The exhibition aimed to communicate to the broad audience of the London Festival of Architecture, revealing an often hidden story of how buildings are occupied and use. In doing so the aim is not to compromise the architectural design intentions but rather the architectural qualities of these buildings is intensified.
You can read more about some of the thinking behind Nine Lives here. Nine Lives has also formed the basis of research into the Irish House and other creative projects such as Home on the Grange.
The architects in the exhibition were AP+E, A2, Clancy Moore, GKMP, Hall McKnight, Ryan Kennihan, Steve Larkin, TAKA, and Urban Agency.
The show has new work by Irish photographers including Noel Bowler, Alice Clancy, Rachel Glass, Ros Kavanagh, Marie-Louise Halpenny, Aisling McCoy, Paul Tierney, and Matthew Thompson.
Graphics by Paul Guinan and Illustration by Fuchsia Mc Aree. School Drawing by Jonathan Janssens and Jennifer O Donnell of plattenbau studio Berlin. Exhibition built by Alan Meredith Studio. The exhibition was co-designed with Matthew Mullin.