Swift Bricks
28 March – 16 May 2017


In Public, In Particular Swift Bricks


This project developed out of Dublin City Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Niamh Ni Cholmain’s presentation to students during the Experimental Geographies workshop. The vision was to source the yellow clay used by the Dublin Brick Company which operated between 1890–1948 in Crumlin, near Thomas Street. The iconic yellow Dolphin’s Barn Brick was used in many buildings throughout Dublin including on Thomas Street and in the old fire station at NCAD.


Objectives of the Workshop


  1. Sound Ornithological Science: Boxes must meet specific ornithological specification in terms of design and placement. Bird Watch Ireland to advise.
  2. Durable Design: Boxes need to be durable. Incredibly Swifts live up to 21 years and renest.
  3. Community Interaction: Engage people in vicinity of proposed sites and also the Dublin Swift Conservation Group amongst others. Boxes could be mounted on NCAD and Eblana House to begin with with capacity for project to expand to other sites and engage the communities of interest.
  4. Survey Capacity – Citizen Science: Programme where people in the vicinity of site become active agents in the collation of data for the National Bird Atlas and also pan European research (Swifts have been in massive decline in last decades).
  5. Cultural Context: How does this kind of work find cultural / artistic interface and mediation? How doe the work additionally engage history and heritage of Thomas Street and the Liberties?

Thomas Street

Artists and art students