University of Ulster Honours World-Leading Architect Daniel Libeskind
Daniel Libeskind and wife Nina at the graduation ceremony in Belfast
AUDIO: Daniel Libeskind, one of the world’s leading architects, today received an honorary degree from the University of Ulster.
The award was conferred at a special ceremony in the University’s Belfast campus today.
Mr Libeskind – who last year launched the University’s Real Estate Initative –made a special visit to the city, where he also delivered a master class to architecture students at the York Street, Belfast campus.
He received the accolade in recognition of his outstanding services to global architecture and design, becoming the first recipient of the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Art (DFA), created in order to honour excellence in the fine arts.
The new degree coincides with the 160th anniversary of the founding of the School of Art and Design in the city.
Accepting his honorary degree, Dr Libeskind spoke movingly of the relationship between democracy, freedom and art.
“There can be no more positive and optimistic art than architecture” he said.
“On a day when we remember those who died for our liberty, it is an honour for me to be here."
And in a powerful expression of confidence in the future of Belfast, he said:
“Belfast is an incredible place, with this incredible University, with its energy that is transforming the city.
"I believe in you, I believe in this University. I believe in the open world which is coming to together in ways we can hardly fathom today.”
Listen to Dr Libeskind's acceptance speech at the graduation ceremony: (5mins, 8Mb)