Intergenerational Futures Lab is a collaboration where younger people and older adults com

Futures Lab
Inter-generational Creativity

Inspired by the transitioning of land usage in Offaly from fossil fuels / greenhouse-gas-intensive industrial processes, Futures Lab creatively responds to the Just Transition Programme to capture stories and methodologies that run the risk of being lost or forgotten in areas where rural peatland was harvested. 

The aim is to consider how collected and recorded content can be potentially up-cycled, reused, appropriated within the context of STEAM – how inter-generational engagement can creatively harness information/data for our futures - integrated into new solution focused ideas and assets to contribute to building resilient rural communities. 

 

Futures Lab collaborates with schools and older adults in Birr, Kilcormac and Rath with artists Caroline Conway, Martina Coyle and Ann Lawlor. Participants through creative imagining explore and identify how traditional or past objects / ideas /materials / methodologies can be repurposed - be part of the solutions of the future. The plan is to use visual materials and methodologies to animate these narratives for exhibition, as well as programme of free public talks and walks.
 

Futures Lab is a Birr Theatre & Arts Centre initiative curated by Ann Lawlor, in collaboration with Offaly’s Healthy Ireland and Age Friendly programmes, and in association with Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival, and Birr Castle Demesne

Supported by the Creative Ireland Programme’s Creativity in Older Age fund and in partnership with Offaly County Council.

Upcoming Activities

Workshop One

Extend & Mend - Circular Thinking

By using materials and techniques that we already possess, we begin to understand how we can stop extracting from our planet and reduce our consumption.  What if we shared skills that we know already and combined them with materials we already have to create something new? Could we knit | weave | crochet plastic to create shelter in a garden space, something for our pets and plants or rainproof pockets in which we can grow plant life.  Plastic can get bad press but by extending the life of existing plastic resources we can create alternative plant pots for garden balconies, places to plant seeds and new ideas.  This workshop focuses on lengthening the life of tricky materials and taking small steps towards being more sustainable with what we have to hand.

Future Lab:  Intergenerational Workshops – 1 child (ages 8-12) with + 1 of “another generation” – parent or grandparent. Max 10 pairs per session.

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Tuesday, 2 August - 11am

Workshop two

Future Fibres - Aesthetic Thinking

Circular thinking can also be aesthetically pleasing and create new connections in our community for the benefit of our well- being and that of the planet.  ReCreate encourages participants to upcycle old or unloved clothes or home textiles by revisiting traditional textile techniques like crochet, smocking, couching or knitting to give textile and fibres a new lease of life.   Bring some of your own fabrics along to add a personal twist with patching and hand stitching. This session will bring generations together to share skills and creative ideas to create a textile piece of combined generations.

Future Lab:  Intergenerational Workshops – 1 child (ages 8-12) with + 1 of “another generation” – parent or grandparent. Max 10 pairs per session.

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Wednesday, 3 August - 11am

Inter-generational Walk

Champion Trees and pollinating Armies

Join Brian Tobin, Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Forestry at University College Dublin on an adventure that explores some of the extraordinary synergistic partnerships between trees and small animals and insects that ensures their mutual success and survival.

Taking examples from Birr Castle's Garden, Brian will explore and explain the Trees Adaptation Strategies

 

Perhaps we too can be inspired by solutions adopted in nature and apply to human challenges.

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Wednesday, 3 August - 11am

Past Activities

Mercy Primary School June Workshop with Martina Coyle

Between June 15, 16 & 17, artist Martina Coyle invited 4th,  5th and 6th class pupils class pupils to : 

1. Bring in an object from home that perhaps belonged to a grandparent or elderly person, (parents can also be included) that is either still used, or not used but to think about how it could be used in the future? 

2. Bring an image of an object from home that perhaps belonged to a grandparent or elderly person, (parents can also be included) that is either still used, or not used but to think about how it could be used in the future? 

3. Ask a grandparent or elderly person, (parents can also be included) about something in the past, whether it is a Story, Object, Idea, Material, Methodology (way of doing something) that is either still used, or not used but to think about how it could be used in the future? 

The pupil(s) could then share this with the class though images and/or words. 

Foraging Workshops with Wild Food Mary

Mary Bulfin (Wild Food Mary) facilitated a foraging workshop with 4th, 5th & 6th classes  on Thurs June 16 to find out what grows/exists locally and what can be used for food, medicines, 

Mary connects people to their places and heritage through exploration, observation and use of wild plants. you'll find out more about Mary on her website : https://wildfoodmary.com
 

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Thanks to Barbara Hanamy (Principal) and class teachers for scheduling the workshops for their classes on June 15, 16  & 17. 

More about Futures Lab

ReCreate’s Intergenerational Workshops are centred on sustainability and creative reuse, posing questions like – What did people do in the past (How did past generations make things last longer)? What materials have we too much of? How else can we use them? How can we see waste as a resource?

 

What techniques and skills do our parents and grandparents have? What new ideas do the next generation have? How can we repurpose material and share making skills for the future ? Can we get creative with the people and materials in our lives to create something unique, quirky and new?

The workshops are a collaboration between ReCreate Ireland and Birr Theatre & Arts Centre as part of the Futures Lab project supported by the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with Offaly County Council.
 

Intergenerational Futures Lab is a collaboration where younger people and older adults com