MA SPACE is a vibrant, experimental taught programme, which is uniquely delivered initially through theory and the examination of best practice, followed by an engaged project in real situations. MA SPACE is designed to fulfill postgraduate demand from art, design and related fields, nationally and internationally. It is a one-year full-time/ or part-time taught Masters programme, multidisciplinary in nature and rendered current through a vibrant programme of International Visiting Artists, Designers and Lecturers. MA SPACE works in collaboration with a number of Irish national agencies including, Create, the Irish national development agency for collaborative arts in social and community contexts, and the National Sculpture Factory.
The MA in Social Practice and the Creative Environment is a programme which answers contemporary needs. Social Practice as a recognised discipline is strongly situated in current critical and theoretical art and design debates and writings. The contents and outlook of the MA respond both to current art practices in Ireland, Europe and the world, and also constitute a viable outcome of current theoretical debates in the place where art theory and practice meet as praxis. From a historical perspective, a programme which deals with issues such as understanding of physical and social environments, social interaction, transaction and exchange, community concerns, history and culture, marks the shift from postmodern psychologism to a renewed social and collective dimension in aesthetics and art practice.
In practice, MA SPACE is a critically engaged programme which uses the city and region as a catalyst. The philosophy of the programme is driven by the focus on the region as a site for investigation and civic engagement. In this context, MA SPACE offers the city of Limerick as an urban resource for postgrads, a lab within which they can engage in social art and design practice. MA postgraduates will immerse themselves in a challenging seminar programme which supports their engagement in a range of theoretical dialogues encompassing the position of artists, designers, cultural practitioners and other engaged disciplines in contemporary society. The seminar programme is supported by guest speakers from local and national stakeholder groups, and the research project opportunities will be in part generated by them. MA SPACE engages over twenty European and American Visiting Lectures each year, the visitors are practitioners who are recognised for their high level of excellence in the field of Socially Engaged Art and related fields. The development of our MA SPACE postgraduates work is supported in one-to-one, as well as group sessions with each visitor. We have invited curators, commentators, architects, engineers, sociologists, urban planners etc., as well as specialist creative’s, artist and designers who work in this field. Each visiting lecturer presents exemplars of their social practice, illustrating the diversity of the practice, or comes to share their disciplines frame of reference on this increasingly complex subject. Limerick School of Art and Design at Limerick Institute of Technology, is in close proximity to Shannon Airport, which is the first airport in the world, outside of the Americas, to offer Full US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance facilities to airlines travelling to the USA. Shannon Airport is also a gateway to Europe. Limerick City is Ireland nominated National City of Culture in 2014. Limerick Institute of Technology was awarded national Institute of the year status in 2012/13,