THE WALK: Research Methodologies in Context – Dublin 22 January – 2 February 2018


Workshop Methodology


Our 2-week Intensive project focused on an on foot exploration of Thomas Street and its immediate environment as a location to conduct research. The project emphasised active research:  i.e. going “offline” and  acting as “human search engines” thereby encountering the street directly.

Students were encouraged to compile questions, engage in conversation, visit real places, wander and to use imaginative role play to encounter the street through the eyes of different types of citizens. How might a developer view the street as opposed to an elderly citizen? Students were encouraged to use existing contacts but also to move beyond their comfort zone and to follow leads to find out more about areas of interest thinking through the conditions of place and time of the street from social, physical, economic, environmental and historical standpoints. Students were initiated into the project by two different guided walks of the area. These took place with the programme manager of the Liberties Business Area Improvement Initiative Stephen Coyne from the Dublin City Council and also local historians Catherine Scuffil and James Madigan.

The project was also supported by introductory sessions, themed seminars/screenings and activities: Gareth Kennedy delivered a talk about the “Processional in Art”, Leah Hilliard and Michelle Browne discussed the performative.  Students were also encouraged to leave their phones for a period in a Faraday Cage ( a foil covered tin box ) thus making its reception disappear and to go out and engage with the street directly. Ongoing, testing, discussion and group work and a visit and talk by an experienced artist practitioner Michael Fortune further supported their development of ideas.

The final outcome for each group took the form of a guided walk for their peer group with a serious of stop off points. Students were encouraged to think through their delivery and to consider their use props, role play, narration/oration and other sensory stimulus. They discussed, tested and prototyped their walks with an external visiting artist Michael Fortune. Each group explored a particular perspective /aspect of the street: development and change, globalisation, the characters and histories of the street, hidden stories, the concept of safety.

On the 2nd of February and the last day of the project, all groups participated in a day long series of themed walks on the street.

Planning Permissions

by Eileen Mantel, Clare Ann Bourke, Jane Tonra and Eva Oomen

Students observed planning notices posted on the street. Using feedback from users of the street around their wishes for the street, they placed playful fictional planning notices on the street. They read these aloud to their peers.

The Pilgrim Walk

by Eileen Malaniff , Sonja Hyytiäinen, Fiona O Brien, Catarina Soeiro and Ellen Webb

Starting with a mindfulness movement exercise for all, this choreographed walk of 30 participants encouraged participants to be “grounded “ and to engage with their present and immediate environment as they moved through a walking meditation which led participants from one green space to another within an urban context’. The walk ended in the Bridgefoot Street Community Garden where a representative from the allotment garden present to welcome and discuss the park was an excellent place and discourse making addition.


by Sophie Cullen, Katie Kenny, Holly Kirby and Sarah Dunne

Building on archival and historical research this group created a walk using costume and props to explore ideas around globalisation, the changing forms of class/profession using a series of stops in the Liberties, this included the move from agrarian to systems based food distribution. Archival census data from previous inhabitants was broadcast in the street via a mobile and mini amplifier.


by Joe Fahy, Emily Jacquier and Jack Meagher

A non-linear narrative soundtrack constructed around a meeting with a Liberties Wizard who tells of a route to the “city under the city”, a journey to subterranean worlds underneath the Liberties which was atmospherically staged in a darkened subterranean space.


by Dylan Kerr and Patricia Donnelly

A flamboyant performative narrative enacted via a series of points on the street again exploring the underground but focusing on the bar cellars and the social life of women in public space. Performers used hammers on the railings and against underground spaces to great effect.


by Shane Mc Inerney, Jane Kelly, Hannah Murphy, Wiktoria Szpiglewska and Caelainn Kerrigan

Starting outside an old police forensic lab, this walk explored some of the reputed characters of the Street from the legendary “Bang Bang” a famous Dublin character who roamed the streets using a giant key as a fake gun to historical rebels like Robert Emmett and some more everyday characters.

False Sense of Security

by Darragh O Brien, Padraig Lillis,Jennifer Mongey Balfe, Sara Alattyanyi and Nicholas Lumsden

The walk started from an exploration of surveillance, safety and space.The walk started with each participant getting a stamp on their hand. The leaders went from being security people/chaperones to a menacing presence keeping those who straggled behind in line. This lent an effective edge to the walk. Some serendipitous events also occurred.

Thomas Street

Artists and art students