- UCC’s new Hub serves as ‘one-stop-shop’ service for 26,000 students
- Interview: Ryan Tubridy chats politics, history and his love of the arts on UCC visit
- UCC Emergency Care Society gets hands-on with life-saving skills
- Fitzgibbon Cup glory for UCC as hurlers beat IT Carlow in thrilling final
- GatewayUCC bridging the gap for research-entrepreneurs
- Pocket-sized brain injury monitor could be a game-changer for infant health
- Future of Irish hockey in safe hands with rising star Hannah
- Dr Eithne Hunt: Healthy habits for body and mind
- From Architecture to Web Development
- Nine APC Microbiome researchers make prestigious ‘highly cited’ list
- UCC honours five exceptional alumni at annual awards ceremony
- UCC spotlights four of its brightest up-and-coming female career scientists
- Rich Ferrie leads an exciting new era for UCC Innovation
- UCC honours its graduates with the official naming of the Alumni Bridge
- New UCC series explains how university research impacts daily life
- UCC's rising sports stars presented with scholarships
- UCC ranked among top universities in Europe for teaching excellence
Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings 2019
- UCC makes Green Flag history…again!
The first university in the world to be awarded a fourth Green Flag
- Blazing a trail
Professor Helen Whelton charts her path to success, from curious dentistry student to global award-winner
- A Summer’s Evening on the Quad hits the right note for Cork charities
The fundraising event is now in its 14th year
- A curious mind
Paul Ross on his love of science, his greatest moments of discovery, and the exciting next chapter at APC Microbiome Ireland
- Mind your microbiome: 9 ways to boost your gut health
In honour of World Microbiome Day
- UCC hosts top wind energy experts at Cork’s largest ever conference
Scientists and engineers gathered to discuss the future of renewable energy
- Lord David Puttnam makes a passionate case for careers in the arts
He features in the latest episode of UCC’s podcast, Plain Speaking
- Funding announced for UCC SFI Research Centres
- Beekeeping makes life sweeter for Cork kids
- Saving Ireland's seals with GPS
- UCC celebrates a stellar year in sport
- Tommy Fleming headlines A Summer's Evening on the Quad
Tickets available now
- UCC ranked as global leader for sustainable social and economic impact
Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings
- Former UCC President Michael Murphy becomes first ever Irish President of EUA
Professor Murphy served as UCC President for 10 years
- MaREI researcher returns from epic adventure in search of blue whales
Dr Ailbhe Kavanagh spent seven weeks in Antarctica
- Doireann Ní Ghríofa among six new members elected to Aosdána at UCC ceremony
Writer Doireann is a UCC alumna
- Former White House drug advisor goes 'inside America’s opioid crisis'
Keith Humphreys is the latest guest on UCC's official podcast, Plain Speaking
- UCC launches Sports Strategy
Pride on our chest, belief in our heart, sport in our bones.
- How Nicole Ryan is powering change after tragedy
- Brainwave ‘donation’ research offers promise for dementia treatment
Research and innovation
- Full-circle for Paul as UCC extends partnership with Cork City FC
A perfect match
- Praise for The Irish Revolution as 'Atlas' documentary airs on RTÉ
Atlas of the Irish Revolution
- Pastures new
UCC launches its Food Institute
- Making waves at MaREI
Ireland's National Ocean Test Facility opens
- Research spotlight: APC Microbiome Ireland
10 researchers among Highly Cited
- Spin-out success
Atlantia Food Clinical Trials expanding stateside
- Billy Morgan: Pride of Cork
Marking a decade of UCC Sigerson Cup football
- The future is bright for soccer's Captain Fantastic
- The next phase for rugby's rising star
- RTÉ to air 'Atlas' documentary
The next step for the Atlas of the Irish Revolution
- Top business talent share their secrets to success
CUBS Conference 2019
- Green roots and flying boots: Cork Chamber project showcases ‘future’ of Cork
Future Forms is part of Cork Chamber’s 200th anniversary celebrations
- CEO and camogie star Mary O'Connor is leading change for women in sport
Moving the goalposts
- Mary Robinson is the first guest on UCC’s new podcast
Plain Speaking is now available to stream
Green roots and flying boots: Cork Chamber project showcases ‘future’ of Cork
Featuring the work of 1000 young artists, Future Forms captures the next generation’s vision of what Cork City will be like in 200 years. Here, Cork Chamber’s Paula Cogan reveals just how illuminating the final exhibition has proven to be. In conversation with Jane Haynes
Happy. Love. Green. New ideas. Political and social fairness. Potential.
These are the words that adorned one wall of UCC’s Glucksman gallery, forming part of the Future Forms exhibition. Each word was carefully chosen by young people – from primary schoolchildren to university students – to describe their hopes for Cork City, 200 years into the future.
It’s a powerful display to behold, particularly as you take in the brightly-coloured high-rise buildings, green spaces and sky- and sea-blue hues captured in paintings, aerial displays and collages that make up the rest of the exhibition.
Contrast that with the painting that sums up their fears for the future: a series of ominous-looking skyscrapers, sandwiched together against a bleak sky that’s charred grey with plumes of smoke.
The message from the younger generation in Cork City is clear: our future is full of potential, hope and wonderful things – if respect and responsibility underpin our interactions with one another and our environment.
Part of Cork Chamber’s 200th anniversary celebrations, the idea for the Future Forms project and exhibition came to fruition last summer through a discussion on the close association between the Chamber and UCC.
Paula Cogan, the incoming President of Cork Chamber and current Chair of the 200 Working Group, reflects on the project’s early development with Fiona Kearney, Director of the Glucksman.
“I felt like I knew straight away that Fiona would be so up for something like this,” she explains.
“What we wanted to do initially, was something along the concept of a memory box, but, for me, that seemed a bit old-hat. Doing something that involved art and an exhibition just seemed like a good fit.”
As part of the project, over 1000 participants from Cork schools, third-level education and community groups were invited into the Glucksman, where they worked with artists to create their vision of Cork in the future. Tadhg Crowley, Senior Curator in Education and Community, and Lucia Taeubler, Education Assistant, coordinated the visits and workshops.
With materials ranging from canvas to crepe paper, and techniques from sketching to spray-painting, participants explored topics including climate action and development in transport, to create an artistic visual of how they would like Cork City to look in 200 years.
Sustainability – in climate, transport and architecture – was at the fore of the young artists’ minds as they created.
“We’re hoping to work with City Council, to maybe have the exhibition moved into City Hall so that the city councillors and planners can actually see it" - Paula Cogan
For Elizabeth, a first-year student at St Aloysius’, looking after our environment is important in her vision for the future.
“It would be much greener, with beautiful parks,” says Elizabeth, who attended through teacher Lisa Robinson’s Art class.
“There would be much better buildings, too – not too high, but a little higher and wider.”
Faye Murphy, the UCC Students’ Union Commercial and Communications Officer, shares a similar vision.
“I’d love to see Cork City pedestrianised,” she says.
“Ideally, no one would own a car – there would be no need for one. There would be a rental scheme, maybe similar to the Coca-Cola bicycle scheme. And public transport would be hugely improved – perhaps there would even be a train network linking to some of the more rural areas.”
Faye’s colleague, SU Education Officer Aaron Frahill, adds that this project highlights important work being undertaken across the university and Cork City: future-proofing, not only for our generation but generations to follow.
“It’s a place for beyond us – we want to still be able to inhabit our city in 200 years’ time,” he says.
“My hope is that there still is a city, and it’s a functioning city; rather than one where, every couple of months or years, it’s going to be flooded.”
These are just a handful of the visions that went into the final Future Forms exhibition, showcasing the artworks of more than 1000 young people. And for Paula Cogan, the entire project has proven to be as insightful as it has inspiring.
“An interesting piece that came out of Future Forms, is that lots of the art that was developed is about high-rise buildings,” she begins.
“In Cork City, we’re slightly reticent about going up – it’s always about going out to the suburbs. Whereas, in the kids’ imaginations, it’s a case of, well, why not go up? That, for me, is where kids and imagination, and not being stymied by the ‘we can’t do this’ attitude comes in.”
While the science behind one of Paula’s favourite visions from the exhibition, a pair of flying boots, might be a bit far off on the horizon, the impact of the Future Forms project is very real – particularly when it comes to climate matters.
“The participants are our workforce of the future,” says Paula, “so it’s interesting to see that what’s really exciting and interesting them, is the environmental piece.
“We need to move with the times and understand that the green issue – which came out in so much of the artwork – is massive.”
There are big plans for this vibrant and insightful exhibition, too, Paula adds.
“We’re hoping to work with City Council, to maybe have the exhibition moved into City Hall so that the city councillors and planners can actually see it,” she explains.
“So, you can say, ‘look – the future generation has no problem with high-rise. We potentially have an issue with it, but this is where they see the cityscape going.’ Little elements like that are so important.”
If this exhibition is anything to go by, the future sure looks bright.
Click here for a full list of the schools and groups who contributed to Future Forms.