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Farrell Centre opening events

What would be in your perfect town?

Published on: 18 April 2023

Visitors to the Farrell Centre’s opening weekend will be able to design their own town and draw the city’s skyline.

Creative activities

Newcastle University’s new centre for cities and architecture on the University’s city centre campus, opens to the public on Saturday 22 April and is celebrating by hosting family friendly events. Visitors will be able to take part in tours, freehand knitting workshops or explore the Urban Room creative activities.

Artist Sue Loughlin will be on hand to help novice planners lay out an imaginary town on the floor of the centre’s Urban Rooms between 11am and 2.30pm on Saturday. Using tape, stickers and collage materials, they’ll be able to consider what essential buildings their town needs and what would make it a wonderful place to live.

The centre’s city facing windows will become an evolving collaborative artwork as guests are invited to document the skyline from their own perspective between 10pm and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. They will be able to use chalk pens to trace around a building, street, tree or even capture temporary sightings such as birds, planes or escaped balloons.

An exterior photograph of the Farrell Centre, the universities' new centre for cities and architecture
The Farrell Centre by Jill Tate

More with Less

Visitors will also be able to see the More with Less exhibition, which offers four compelling new visions for architecture in the face of the climate emergency. Tours of the exhibition will take place at 11am and 1.30pm on Saturday and 1.30pm on Sunday, and will provide more detail about the architects involved in the exhibition and unique behind the scenes insight for each installation. On Sunday, visitors can have a go at large scale free-hand knitting inspired by the exhibition, and contribute to a growing, collaborative knit sculpture.

Launching the centre’s talks programme, The Radical City will ask whether the time has come for truly radical action to tackle the challenges – such as unaffordable housing, racial and social injustice, air pollution and food supply issues - facing people now.

A panel of experts will consider everything from economics and ecology, architecture, culture, urban planning to the fundamental structures of our democracy.

The panel includes author and Newcastle University academic Dr Alex Niven; Simin Davoudi, Professor of Town Planning at Newcastle University; architect Shankari Raj and Kate Denby, Executive Director and joint CEO of Northern Stage. The discussion will be chaired by Owen Hopkins, Director of the Farrell Centre.

The Farrell Centre was instigated by renowned architect-planner and Newcastle University graduate Sir Terry Farrell, and forms part of Newcastle University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. The Farrell Centre is located in a four-storey Victorian building on Eldon Place which has been transformed in a £4.6 million building project. Its mission is to widen the debate around the crucial roles that architecture and planning play in the contemporary world in ways that are innovative, engaging and challenging.

The Farrell Centre will be admission free and combines a public gallery, research hub, and community space, offering a variety of experiences for visitors of all ages. The centre’s programme will be wide-ranging and inclusive: temporary exhibitions, public talks and debates, workshops and activities for schools, young people, community groups, events for built environment professionals, as well as publications, podcasts, and other digital projects.

Opening Weekend at the Farrell Centre

DATE: 22nd and 23 April 2023

TIME: 10am to 5pm

LOCATION: The Sir Terry Farrell Building, Eldon Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RD

For more information visit the Farrell Centre website


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