The RTÉ Radio 1 DAVIS NOW LECTURES podcast presents new or previously broadcast commissioned lectures on timely subjects from Ireland's finest scholars, thinkers and artists. The inspiration for the podcast is the iconic RTÉ THOMAS DAVIS lectures which for over half a century since 1953 featured newly written radio talks on a host of subjects. Listen and subscribe here, or search 'Davis Now Lectures' in your podcast app.
DAVIS NOW LECTURES on the theme of Making Home.
Lecture 1 :Clearing Hovels and Building Homes: an Architectural History of Irish Housing
Presented by Dr Ellen Rowley (consultant editor of the series)
Location of Recording: 11 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
In an effort to throw ever more light on Irish social history, Ellen Rowley's lecture describes the various architectural territories of housing in Ireland from the 1700s to the present day. By highlighting the architecture of the different types of home - from our preference for individual dwellings such as the roadside cabin and the suburban terraced house, to our difficulty with communal housing from the workhouse of the 1840s to the family hub of 2019 - this talk brings listeners on a journey through the hedges, picture windows and box rooms of where we live. Ultimately, this radio talk is about ordinary life in everyday houses. But Rowley, in her typically engaging and imaginative way, raises questions and probes into the nature of the 'ordinary' and 'everyday' through Irish history.
Contributors include Design Historian Dr Sorcha O'Brien, Kingston University, London; Urban Geographer, Associate Professor Joseph Brady of the School of Geography, UCD; and Head of Housing Policy, Research and Development for Dublin City Council Dr Dáithí Downey who also leads the Dublin Housing Observatory.
Lecture 2: Bricks, Mortar and Data: Technology and the Home of the Future
Presented by Professor Linda Doyle, Vice President Dean of Research and Professor of Engineering and the Arts, Trinity College, Dublin
Location of recording: Callan Workhouse Union, Co Kilkenny
Linda Doyle is an engineer with wonderful imagination. For this lecture, Doyle brings her technological research and knowledge of the wireless world to imagine a house of the future, a so-called 'smart home'. Or is it a house of today? Describing the different interventions already in the home, and the pieces of technology that might potentially fill the home, Doyle raises issues around responsibility and around the ethics of technology. She argues that these present and near-future changes, transforming our homes into 'bricks, mortar and data', might be the most radical ever experienced. How then, must we respond?
Contributors include curator Etaoin Holohan of Fennellys, Callan; Rosie Lynch, Co-Director of Callan Workhouse Union; and artist Brianna Hurley.
Lecture 3: To Close to Home: Irish Theatre and Home
Presented by Róise Goan, Artistic Director of Artsadmin London (August 2019-), writer, producer and director.
Location of Recording: Glebe House and Gallery, Churchill, Letterkenny Co. Donegal
Whether in sound or set with a hearth or a sink, Róise Goan's radio talk argues that the home is a central player in theatre in Ireland. Moving through the rich world of recent and contemporary Irish theatre, Goan sketches and describes a diversity of homes as they appear and disappear on stage or off-site. Home is an emotional state and home is a dramatic setting. According to Goan, with her references to the cottage kitchens of Donegal and Connemara, or to the immersive streets of Dublin's north inner city evocations of home form more than a backdrop.
Contributors include Darren Murphy, associate playwright at the Abbey, Ireland's National Theatre.
Lecture 4: Unmaking Home: Making Homes for Shelter or for Investment?
Presented by Professor Michelle Norris, Head of the School of Social Policy, Social Work, and Social Justice, University College Dublin
Location of recording: Moyross Community and Enterprise Centre, Limerick City
Michelle Norris's radio talk is a brilliant and enlightening study of the economic and political forces shaping Irish housing since the 1930s. The lecture positions us at key moments in the past century, showing how housing provision was or was not a social priority and a political policy. Not taking anything for granted, Norris's enquiry analyses mortgage patterns and tenancy tendencies, and ends up at that hard truth that Ireland's present-day housing crisis, with unprecedented homelessness and house price inflation, comes out of socio-economic and political choices made over time.
Contributors include Paddy Flannery, Manager at Moyross Company Enterprise Centre; and writer Mike Finn.
Lecture 5: Houses in Motion: Architecture and Patterns of Dwelling
Presented by Professor Hugh Campbell, of University College Dublin’s School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College, Dublin
Location of Recording: Nano Nagle Place in Cork City.
Hugh Campbell's lecture is a poetic meander which considers the relationship between psychology and design: that who we are depends on where we are. Focusing on the home as the first and last space of our human experience, Campbell explores how our relation to home is at the heart of how we live and imagine ourselves in the world. Among examples which Campbell references are experimental houses in Ireland and Japan, as well as houses from literature and cinema, including the 1970s Mexican house in the Oscar-winning film Roma (Cuaron, 2018).
Contributing guests include consultant psychiatrist Aisling Campbell and Aaron O'Connell of Cork Simon Community.