The Interface: Peace Walls, Belfast, Northern Ireland


  • James O'Leary



In 2013, the Northern Ireland Executive outlined a goal to ‘create a ten year programme to reduce, and remove by 2023, all interface barriers’ in Northern Ireland.  This unexpected statement helped to focus attention on the difficulties inherent in making this commitment a reality.  Made during a period of fieldwork in Belfast between 2014 and 2016, this work of text and image frames the thirteen clusters of separation barriers that divide communities across Belfast as a single system entitled ‘The Interface’. 

Author Biography

James O'Leary

James is currently a Senior Lecturer in Innovative Technology and Design Realisation at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, where he leads the M.Arch Architecture ‘Design Realisation’ module operating across all Masters design units.

In 2014 he was granted a TECHNE doctoral studentship to conduct research into the role of the architect in the transformation of ‘post-conflict’ sites, with a specific focus on the long-term transformation of ‘Interface Areas’ in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  He is pursuing this work as a member of the ‘Understanding Conflict’ Research Cluster at the University of Brighton.


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