Embassy for Refugees

Embassy for Refugees Learning Lab Workshop

A Learning Lab
Artist/Architect: Natasha Reid

Venue: NCAD, Dublin
Date: 9 April 2014
Time: 2 – 5:30 pm

A Learning Lab focusing on a site-specific commission titled ‘Embassy for Refugees’ built on the South Bank, June 2013 as part of the Celebrating Sanctuary Festival.

Art practice, architecture, design and participatory methods are interwoven in Reid’s re-construction of the ‘typology’ of the classic Embassy building. In creating this physical hybrid, Reid questions the application of ‘diplomacy’ in relation to the global realities of refugees together with humanitarian and legal principles associated with concepts of sanctuary. Constructed and curated in the style of the public ‘pavilion’, ‘The Embassy for Refugees’ acts as both catalyst and mediator for a range of cross-community dialogues and happenings – functioning as both participatory learning site and public provocation.

Learning Lab explored the history of this commission, alongside the collaborative programming shaping its installation and the potential and practical challenges for its continuous siting and adaptation in a sustained programme of mixed activities and events involving a range of unpredictable participants. Learning Lab also reflected on the evolution of Reid’s participatory methodologies and approaches, working with and across sectors and between art and architectural practice.


Natasha Reid studied Architecture at Cambridge University and gained a Distinction for her Professional Diploma in Architecture at London Metropolitan University. She has worked in several award-winning architecture practices since 2006, specializing in exemplary, contemporary design through working on high-profile residential developments and public realm projects across Central London. Whilst working in practice, she concurrently developed experimental visual arts projects in partnership with organisations across the UK as an alternative way of understanding and engaging with the urban realm and contemporary cultural concerns.

In 2013 she established Natasha Reid Design, an interdisciplinary studio which brings together her experience across architecture and art to explore the experience of built space through a more intimate scale of projects, focusing on engaging people and catalysing change.

Natasha’s work has been widely exhibited and she regularly shares her explorations through seminar and talks. She is a visiting critic at several universities: the Royal College of Art, Westminster University, The Cass and the Chelsea College of Art. She leads interdisciplinary art and architecture workshops for professional practitioners as well as workshops for children in schools.



A Counterpoints Arts and British Council Learning Lab
In collaboration with MA Socially Engaged Art, NCAD (National College of Art and Design), Dublin
In association with Vagabond Reviews, Platforma and CREATE