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Book Launch: "Approximate Formality - Morphology of Irish Towns" by Valerie Mulvin

Tuesday, 15 June 2021, 7 – 8pm

Book Launch: "Approximate Formality - Morphology of Irish Towns" by Valerie Mulvin

An online event hosted by Trinity Long Room Hub to mark the launch of Approximate Formality - Morphology of Irish Towns by Valerie Mulvin architect of the TLRH. Professor Linda Doyle (Provost Elect of Trinity College Dublin) will speak, along with an introduction to the book by author Valerie Mulvin, followed by Q&A.


"Approximate Formality" discusses the origin, originality and potential of towns and town plans in Ireland, from earliest times to the Famine, so they can be understood as a part of European and world culture. When people are genuinely looking for more sustainable ways to live lightly on the earth, this book opens the possibility of sustainable re-use of these brilliant places, bringing life back to what is actually an instant environment, based on an understanding of their significance. The book’s intention is to highlight the originality and excitement of these places, not just as old things re-made, but as potentially a whole new way of looking at living.

“This book is partly a lockdown project and partly the completion of something which has been with me for over 20 years. Since my work on the book started, Ireland has also changed. During lockdown, lots of people have moved out of cities to new lives in the countryside - particularly in small Irish towns. This is a natural process, but it brings huge opportunities to those towns at a key moment. This book is timely in showing how an understanding of their architecture and urban design serves to support ways in which Irish towns might be carefully conserved, and sustainably developed, to provide homes for thousands of additional people. This is one of the key questions for Ireland now. If it is answered originally, it will be Ireland’s significant contribution to world culture for the next number of years.” – Valerie Mulvin

Valerie Mulvin is an architect and co-founder of McCullough Mulvin Architects in Dublin, and a member of Aosdána. She works in Ireland and internationally to make innovative contemporary architecture which is sensitive to place and context, using radical conservation to stitch old and new fabric together to sustain towns and cities for a new generation. Valerie has travelled extensively studying urban history, space and design, re-connecting Irish experience to its European origins. Her research on Irish towns began with a M.Litt in Trinity College Dublin in the early 1990’s. Previous books include "A Lost Tradition - The Nature of Architecture in Ireland".

"Approximate Formality" is extensively illustrated with new plans, maps and images, many of which are being published in Ireland for the first time. It is designed by Unthink and published by The Anne Street Press. It will be available in hardback for €35 from all good book shops.

Please indicate if you have any access requirements, such as ISL/English interpreting, so that we can facilitate you in attending this event. Contact:

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Online webinar
Research Theme: Creative Arts Practice
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Lectures and Seminars, Public, Special events
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free but Registration Required

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