Occupied by Design

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...


On 21 February 2013, Saul Golden organised an "activention" - a temporary activation and intervention in a public space to test out urban potential - in Belfast city centre. The location, Library Square, BT1, was subject to redevelopment proposals under traditional consultation processes - posters in libraries and town hall type meetings. Golden's activention created a free public engagement event, co-organised with assistance from the Northern Ireland Ministerial Advisory Group on Architecture & the Built Environment, built-environment outreach charity PLACE NI, and local independent business along with the Belfast Central Library and community groups, who donated furniture, food, and cultural activity. The event, held in coordination with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Norther Ireland's Department of Social Development (now Department for Communities) closed the Library Street space for one afternoon to put on Outdoor Music, Poetry, Games, and Buskers to initiate un-choreographed conversation on the DSD/Belfast redevelopment proposals on this important space in the city. The 1-day event gathered 1/3 of all submitted consultation responses received by DSD from their 3-month traditional process. The event was also the subject of a an international published invited article by Golden on the Project for Public Spaces Ltd website, and through further research by Golden, contributed to a peer reviewed article "Occupied by Design" in the Journal WIT Transactions on Ecology and The Environment, 191.
Period21 Feb 2013
Event typeOther
LocationBelfast, Northern IrelandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • activention
  • Belfast
  • Urban Research Belfast
  • architecture
  • urban design
  • public engagement
  • critical spatial practice
  • regneration
  • inner-city development