Dublin, Exchange.
Reflections From a City in Flux

“City meant two different things – one a physical place, the other a mentality compiled from perceptions, behaviours and beliefs.”
- Richard Sennett

Cities change, it is in their nature and Dublin is no different. Perhaps every generation assumes that the pace of change they experience is particular, accelerated, and uncontrolled. Things move fast with too many citizens being left behind. At the start of the 21st century, Dublin appears more like an idea than reality, as if people on the streets who know and claim this place as their own today experience Dublin in a blur, just out of reach heading toward some distant, merchant future. But Dublin is more than something to be bought or sold. And, despite reports, the city is not altogether thin and vacant and abandoned. Its story continues to be written and rewritten, and its culture - in its materiality and mentality -continues to evolve. If, as is claimed, culture is the sum of all stories we tell ourselves, a question arises: what stories of Dublin today remain to be told?

In 2021, architect Niall McCullough, one of Dublin city’s most significant writers on architecture and the city died. For Dublin’s citizens, architects, and writers, what remained was an astounding legacy of research, history, passion, intelligence, and argument for the city of Dublin. There is no comparable architect writing about the city in this way today. Such writing should continue with other voices now being supported to occupy that precious slipstream of a consistent and persistent focus on the city and its stories McCullough both loved and lamented.

Dublin, Exchange is a new, published collection of critical writing and photography. The ‘exchange’ of the title confirms that the book will be made with reference to the work of Niall McCullough, but the words and images it contains will reflect Dublin today.

Published by Story, Building and edited by Ruth O’ Herlihy (McCullough Mulvin) and René Boer (Loom / Failed architecture), with Gary Hamilton, the Editors now seek to commission new writers and photographers to offer their reflections on this city in flux and to participate in this Dublin, Exchange.

Open Call

The editors seek expressions of interest to contribute to this new published collection of words and images of Dublin. Dublin, Exchange, the second in the ‘exchange series’ draws upon the legacy of the late Niall McCullough and his unwavering dedication to writing about Dublin.

Here are some terms:

  • The editors invite both critical and ambitious text-based and photographic-based proposals.
  • Up to seven commissions may be offered.
  • New and often underrepresented voices on architecture and the city are particularly welcome.
  • Written pieces will run between 1400 -2000 words, in essay format. The editors however remain open to proposals of differing lengths or pieces which combine images and text.
  • Photographic stories will run to 2-4 pages, to be confirmed with photographers.
  • Final content will be discussed on a case by case basis.
  • Editorial support is provided to new writers.
  • Fee per completed contribution is €600.

To be considered for a commission the following is required:

  • A 250 word idea about a story about or a critical reflection on contemporary Dublin you wish to tell in words or images. This can be submitted in a PDF format as an attachment.
  • A sample of previous and relevant work. Please submit something you think communicates to the editors how you would approach making or writing new work about Dublin. This must be submitted in aPDF format as an attachment.

The above is to be emailed to:

  • storybuildingjournal@gmail.com
  • To arrive not later than April 21st 2023,6pm GMT

Dublin, Exchange is published by Story, Building, edited by Ruth O’Herlihy and René Boer, with Gary Hamilton and is published by Story, Building. The publication is funded by the Arts Council, under the Architecture Project Award 2022.