Culture File – Community Arts in Dublin

Culture File – Community Arts in Dublin
by Gareth Stack

Exhibition party for Franck Omer, a French artist I invited to show at Exchange Dublin in 2012. Exhibition party for Franck Omer, a French artist I invited to show at Exchange Dublin in 2012.

Perhaps the most famous line in Portrait of the Artist goes like this: ‘Ireland is the old sow that eats her own farrow’. Some things never change. The ‘peace dividend’ of Brian Lenihan’s attack on the Irish economy, was a fall in rents. Dublin got something it had never had before, cheap unused buildings. This meant that artists, historically an embarrassment in the way of progress (see The City Arts Centre, the Temple Bar redevelopment, etc, ad nauseam), took an active unmediated part in the life of the city. Visitors to this years ‘Culture Night’ attractions, will have discovered that all that is done for. We have lost so much, so quickly. So much hope that the city could be a place for people, not merely a venue for business. A…

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A4er Donal Holland led the development of this Soft Robotics Toolkit at Harvard…”everything a robot maker needs”

Massive congratulations to our education officer Donal Holland. First for his new job as visiting lecturer at Harvard University and second for the launch of the Soft Robotics Toolkit on Sept 19th.

“The Soft Robotics Toolkit is an online treasure trove of downloadable, open-source plans, how-to videos, and case studies to assist users in the design, fabrication, modeling, characterization, and control of soft robotic devices. It will provide researchers with a level of detail not typically found in academic research papers, including 3D models, bills of materials, raw experimental data, multimedia step-by-step tutorials, and case studies of various soft robot designs. 

Dónal Holland, a visiting lecturer in engineering sciences at SEAS and graduate student at Trinity College Dublin, is one of the lead developers of the toolkit and is especially interested in the toolkit’s potential as an educational resource.

“One thing we’ve seen in design courses is that students greatly benefit from access to more experienced peers—say, postdocs in a research lab—who can guide them through their work,” Holland says. “But scaling that up is difficult; you quickly run out of time and people. The toolkit is designed to capture the expertise and make it easily accessible to students.”

Full Text on Harvard SEAS News