Skip to main content
Co-produced with Workhouse Union

Town Planners

03 February - 31 December

A year-long programme of design activities 2018

Town Planners
Town Planners examines our sense of civic space, the principles of planning and our relationships to the built environment and the world around us. The Studio Gallery will transform and change over the year, acting as a hub from which to explore the future of Carlow town through an active programme of events. For the summer programme Town Planners focuses on the relationship between the urban and natural world; highlighting the role of bee and pollinators in creating a healthy urban environment. Workshops and activities will be led by visual artist Ruth E. Lyons, Workhouse Union and Carlow Beekeepers Association.
Within the gallery, a civic plaza space is reimagined in steel and wood by Spanish architectural collective Todo Por La Praxis as a place for people to gather, accompanied by Paul Bokslag’s vinyl floor and wall drawing which takes its cue from urban road marking patterns.

In Summer 2017, VISUAL commissioned UK Collective Studio Weave to develop ‘My Carlow’, a shared narrative for Carlow Town; Town Planners gives us an opportunity to explore what this might mean for Carlow’s future.

Summer Programme:

Town Planners Summer School
23th, 24th, 25th July. 10am - 4pm, for ages 9-13 years approx, Free
This summer School will be an active programme of arts and design activities for children with creative workshops led by artist/designer Paul Bokslag and Workhouse Union’s team. Activities will include indoor and outdoor workshops that will encourage playful engagement with the natural and built environment of Carlow Town. For further details and reservations please email:

Bee Town
Heritage Week, Sunday 18th and 25th August, Meet at VISUAL at 2pm, Free  (TBC)
A walking tour of the town of Carlow through the eyes of a bee; what is the natural landscape that bees thrive in. Why do our towns need them? Tour will include a visit to Carlow town's very own apiary. Led by Carlow Beekeepers Association.

Town Growers
Saturday 8th September, 2 - 5pm.  Meet at VISUAL at 2pm, Free  (TBC)
An afternoon workshop for young people and their families to explore Carlow towns natural environment through theatre and play. Led by Monkeyshine Theatre.

Ruth Lyons
Visual artist Ruth Lyons will develop a project over the summer season exploring the relationship of the bee to our urban environment, engaging with Carlow Beekeepers Association in realising her work.

Workhouse Union (based in Callan, Co. Kilkenny) works with artists, designers, architects and crafts-people to develop projects examining housing, civic infrastructure and the commons, engaging people with the spaces and places we live in. Their current work explores the future of rural towns through Meet You at the Green? (2017) and Bring Your Own Chair (2018).


Town Planners is co-produced by VISUAL and Workhouse Union and funded through the Arts Council Engaging with Architecture Strand.