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Proposal for ‘Flare’ design competition.

As an alternative to the excess of folly, the aspirations for the project are modest and based in the longer term. It is founded on the idea that architecture can act as a catalyst for social change, helping to promote awareness of issues within our society whilst offering an opportunity to address them within a dignified setting.

With a sense of humanity it’s core, the design of the temporary structure will focus on architectures ability to create places in which communities can participate in social rituals which fulfil our collective desire to help others.

Akin to wishing wells and other places of ritualistic offertory, at the centre of the pavilion will be an ‘Altar’ for making a personal offering or private intention, where visitors will have the time and space to acknowledge and reconcile a personal sense of responsibility to those less fortunate than themselves.

It is hoped that similar to these sacred places the shared space will over time become a repository for acts of kindness and generosity, embedding itself within the collective consciousness of the wider community as a place of positive action.

As we approach the inevitability of becoming a cashless society and occurrences of casual cash donations are diminishing, recent advances in contactless technology whilst offering new methods for donation often leave people feeling isolated from the emotional benefits of giving.

It is within the modern context of passive swipe transactions that the proposal hopes to find form by offering a memorable experience of contactless donation more appropriate to this selfless act.

The project will highlight the work of the homeless charity ‘Welcome’, already operating within Belfast and help to create awareness of the work that they do for the homeless, as well a providing an opportunity for upskilling during the construction of the pavilion, reigniting a flare for learning.