Francly: The Couture Library with Greg Sheaf of Trinity College Dublin
The Couture Library
Portraits by Ivan Rakhmanin
Editorial by Lorna and Simon Mills, unpublished FRANC issue four.
Host Briony Somers
Greg recommends listening to 'I Am The Walrus' (1967) by The Beatles as you read this.
Trinity College’s Berkeley Library is a couture library. Designed by a young Paul Koralek and completed in 1967, the Berkeley is a perplexing and counter-intuitive space that forces you to find your own world inside its chaos. Its design and knowledge yield to you only when you accept how vastly they can engulf you.
FRANC found its world in the Berkeley in the year of its fiftieth anniversary. As our editor finished her degree, we spent the summer in LaunchBox - the entrepreneurial program run out of the library’s foyer. We shot a film and the first editorial of our fourth issue in the library with documentary photographers Lorna and Simon Mills. Our world got to engulf the library on the 4th November 2017 when, with ample amounts of whiskey, we celebrated the new issue with a party.
By carefully reflecting the particularities of humanity, rather than creating something smooth and straightforward, it gives rise to creations that are challenging and complicated. Purity of purpose shows us a perspective that we connect with through a struggle; through surrendering a love of cautious accommodation for messy compassion.
In this episode, we sit down with assistant librarian Greg Sheaf to show some messy compassion for the library. After lengthy chats in both the library and the College’s Alumni Room we sat in the Trinity FM studio to discuss the library’s design legacy, the democratisation of culture and challenging perceptions.