Open Call FAQs
Who can apply?
Emerging and established architects (collective and individual) based in Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) are invited to apply. The opportunity is ideal for those who wish to further develop their co-design and participatory public engagement skills and experience.
Interpretation of the word ‘emerging’ is open to applicants. It could mean that you have recently graduated, or that your practice has been established recently. It may also mean that you are an established architect and would like to gain new skills in participatory public engagement and co-design.
Collectives applying may be previously established or newly formed for this commission. If you apply as a pair or a collective, the support and fee will be shared between you.
Solo applicants must hold a qualification in architecture. If applying as a team/collective, at least one of your team members must hold a qualification in architecture.
Do you have to be a registered architect?
No, current RIAI registration is not required for entry. However, we do ask that:
- If applying as an individual, applicants must hold a qualification in architecture.
- If applying as a collective, at least one member of your proposed collective must hold a qualification in architecture.
By ‘architectural qualification’, we mean that the applicant has to have completed a minimum 5-year professionally accredited degree in architecture.
Do you have to be Irish?
No, but applicants must be living on the island of Ireland (Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland) for the duration of the project. This is to ensure that applicants have the time and capacity to meaningfully engage with their chosen community, and that they have the requisite understanding of the particular housing context in Ireland.
Is the Open Call open to all locations/contexts in Ireland?
Yes. We are eager to receive proposals from a variety of location contexts across Ireland, whether urban, rural, suburban or other. In selecting the three successful proposals, consideration will be given to ensuring that there are a variety of locations represented between the three.
Is there a Stage Two?
Reimagining Elderhood is a one-stage competition. That means that once all entries have been received (before 5pm on Wednesday the 20th April 2022), a jury panel will decide on the successful applicants.
Note: It might be necessary for the jury panel to conduct an interview with shortlisted candidates in this selection process.
What is the breakdown of the fee and the production cost?
The three selected applicants will each receive €7,000 (including VAT), plus a travel stipend of €200. This sum will have to pay for the applicants’ time in both design responses and community engagement, plus travel costs. Applicants material costs will be further supported (within reason) via an exhibition budget which is limited but will take account of applicant ambitions in terms of creating a strong collective exhibition/dissemination programme. SOA will liaise with the successful applicants throughout the project process to determine allocation of the exhibition materials funding. In terms of breakdown for the €7,000 project fee, we envisage this funding being divided approximately into €5,000 for time fees and community engagement processes, and €2,000 for production of exhibition content.
*NOTE: While creation of outputs for dissemination is essential, and must be borne in mind by the successful applicants throughout, this project is process focused, and we envisage that successful applicants will invest the majority of their time and resources into evolving a rich and fruitful community engagement process.
Should I approach the community group I envisage working with before applying?
Preferably yes. If you have a community group (of interest or place) in mind with whom you would like to work with on this project, ideally you would gauge their interest in engaging with the project before completing your application. This will feed into the feasibility element of the marking criteria. This can be done quite informally, there is no requirement for a written or verbal agreement, but for your own sake it would be worthwhile gently testing whether the group you would like to work with are interested and available to participate in the project. When doing so, it is important to manage expectations around the intended outcome of the process.
Is the funding inclusive of VAT?
Yes, the €7,000 funding (and €200 travel stipend) are inclusive of VAT. Applicants who are not VAT exempt will need to account for VAT in their budgeting for the project.
No additional payment over €7000 can be made to participants to cover their VAT requirements. SOA cannot currently offer definitive advice as to whether project funding for VAT-registered participants is subject to VAT, and applicants are advised to seek their own advice on this matter.
What timeframe is envisaged for the community engagement element of the project?
SOA envisage that engagement with your chosen community will take place between May and November 2022. Following this period, some time will be required to focus on production of material for dissemination. Depending on the dissemination format, it’s possible that members of the community group could also be involved in the dissemination process in early 2023.
Will architect mentors attend the meetings/workshops/engagement with your chosen community group?
No, we do not envisage that architect mentors will attend community engagement events, but they will be available before or after the meeting to discuss/review. The mentors wish to give the successful applicants time and space to engage with your chosen community group in a manner of your choosing.
SOA will also facilitate and encourage meetings, as required, between all three successful applicants and their mentors, as a forum for sharing experiences and potential cross pollination of ideas.
Can my proposal engage with issues beyond housing?
Absolutely. While we do require that applications focus on reimagining the living experience of people in later life, and housing will be a key element of this, proposals can also extend beyond housing to focus on spatial and other considerations relating to the wider neighbourhood. We also welcome proposals which consider the potential for collaborative housing and associated spaces for community life and sharing of resources.
Do I have to have Professional Indemnity Insurance?
No, having Professional Indemnity Insurance cover in place is not a requirement for applicants. Depending on the proposal, and within reason, SOA will work with successful applicants to make sure the appropriate insurances are in place under SOA’s policy.
Public Liability and Employers Liability insurances will also be covered by SOA as required, within reason. We cannot however insure work/events which involve children (ie. people under 18 years of age.)
Is it essential for the community group to consist of people of varying ages?
It’s not essential for the community group to consist of people of varying ages, but ideally the group should contain some people in ‘mid-life’, as noted in the Open Call brief. By this we mean that the group should contain some people who are in the middle-age bracket, which is roughly 40-65yrs. However, if we receive a strong proposal which involves working with a group of people all of whom are 65+, this will be considered.
What is the expected end result of this initiative in terms of the architects output?
The expected end result is open-ended at present. SOA do intend to produce a document which addresses the theme of Reimagining Elderhood at the end of the project process, but what the architects contribute to this is open for discussion at the moment, and may emerge from the process of working with a community group. It could be partially in drawing or illustrated guide format, it could be a model or piece for exhibition, the output and dissemination is something which we will discuss with the selected architects at the outset of the process. Output does not have to relate to Ireland alone, but it must be relevant to Ireland and respond to the particular Irish context.