Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Fernhill Park Experience

Project Leads Emma Leahy, Clyde Doyle
Project Researcher Stephanie Golden
In partnership with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
DLRCC Team Ruaírí O'Dulaing, Ronan Herron, Des Houlihan, Keith Cotter
Funded by Science Foundation of Ireland
An interactive and educational, augmented reality gaming experience based on Fernhill Park and Gardens, that aims to encourage engagement with the topics of ecology and resource use, and spark curiosity and engagement in STEM.

Project Description

Fernhill Park Experience is in partnership with Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC). The project funding was received from the Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI) for the development of an interactive and educational, augmented reality (AR) exhibit based on the new Fernhill Park and Gardens. 


The AR game has been developed in collaboration with IADT’s Public Design Lab, Dublin based design company Noho and DLRCC . A map of Fernhill has been designed to pair with the AR tool which will display how anthropogenic influence and land-use change have shaped and impacted the park. A physical scaled model of the park has been created as part of the project. The artifact will be on display in Marlay Park in April.


The project aims to provide an accessible learning tool that encourages engagement with the topics of ecology and resource use, to help engender environmentally, ecologically and future aware citizens. It also aims to spark curiosity and engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), from groups currently identified as being unengaged with STEM. 


The gamified experience will position the player as guardian of Fernhill Park. As guardian, the player can choose to make changes to the park under the areas of rewilding, reforestation and renewable energy. The player will learn about the impacts of these changes and based on their learning, they will decide a future scenario for Fernhill. 


The project will assess how the AR experience can encourage engagement with the topics of ecology and resource use, and how it might influence the decision-making processes around those topics in the context of a public park.


The project was launched in Marlay Park in April and a series of engagements will be carried out across libraries and primary schools in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown region. A report of the project will be released in June 2023.  


If you are interested in taking part in any of the upcoming workshops, please send your interest to 




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