Our Place in Space is coming to Hanoi in Vietnam later in the year © Nerve Centre / Oliver Jeffers
Wednesday 14 June 2023


NORTHERN Ireland’s hugely successful solar system trail Our Place in Space will land in Hanoi, Viet Nam later this Autumn, it was announced by the British Council today (Wednesday, 14 June 2023).

The trail designed by artist Oliver Jeffers, astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt and a creative team led by Nerve Centre, has so far attracted over one million visitors across the UK and takes visitors on a journey through a scale model of the solar system.

Having already visited Derry/Londonderry, Belfast, Liverpool, Cambridge and North Down, this hugely acclaimed interactive three-dimensional (3D) sculpture trail will be installed in parks and lakes across central Hanoi for two weeks in November, accompanied by an exciting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths)-based learning and events programme.

The project which will see the Nerve Centre partner with Vietnamese social enterprise Think Playgrounds, is part of the British Council’s UK/ Viet Nam Season which will run from June through to December 2023, celebrating and showcasing the best of educational and cultural exchange and collaboration between the UK and Viet Nam.

Marking the British Council's 30-year anniversary in Viet Nam and 50 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Viet Nam, the UK/Viet Nam Season, themed on Climate and the Environment and Shared Heritage, will bring together thought leaders, academics, educators, entrepreneurs, and artists from various organisations in the UK and Viet Nam to share ideas and experiences, and discuss existing and future collaborations in the areas of arts and culture, education and English.

Oliver Jeffers, artist, said: “Our Place in Space encourages people to reflect on humanity’s place within the universe and what it means to exist on Earth, the only place known to harbour life. With distance comes perspective. The trail in Viet Nam will explore what happens to our perspective when we look back at Earth from Space, and how we can come together to tackle issues like the climate emergency.”

David Lewis, executive producer at Nerve Centre, said: “The Nerve Centre is delighted to follow on from the success of Our Place in Space in the UK, with an exciting, new iteration of the project in Hanoi. Our Place in Space is a remarkable installation that combines science, art and technology. Oliver Jeffers’ signature illustrative style speaks a universal language, which we are sure will connect with audiences in Viet Nam.”

Ulster University will also be part of the Season, running a fully funded scholarship programme for Vietnamese English Language Teachers to study an online Masters course in English language teaching.

In addition to online teaching, the programme of study will include two weeks at the University’s Coleraine campus, with students given the opportunity to undertake a teaching placement at a local North Coast or North West school.

Meanwhile, in the English language sector, International House Belfast will partner with the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH) on a project to integrate climate action into English Language Teaching.

Using a range of digital study materials, including videos, audio files, and written texts, this project aims to encourage dialogue between students and educators about different environmental issues in English classes at both university and post-primary.

Speaking about the Season, Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland said: “We are thrilled to have a number of Northern Ireland organisations as part of this year's UK/Viet Nam Season. Tackling shared challenges and fostering cultural exchange, this Season presents a unique opportunity for deepening Northern Ireland's relations with Viet Nam.

“We hope the Season will provide an opportunity for people from both countries to strengthen existing bonds and forge new creative partnerships in English, education, and arts and culture, and look forward to the inspiring months ahead.”

The UK/ Viet Nam Season will run from June to December 2023. To find out more information about the UK/Viet Nam Season 2023 visit https://www.britishcouncil.vn/en/programmes/uk-vietnam-season-2023  or follow the hashtag #UKVNSeason on social media.

Notes to Editor

For more information about the UK/Viet Nam Season, please contact:

Claire McAuley, Senior Media and Campaigns Manager, British Council: +44 (0)7542268752 E: Claire.McAuley@britishcouncil.org  

About the UK/ Viet Nam Season
Marking 50 years of UK–Vietnamese diplomatic relations, and 30 years of the British Council’s presence in Viet Nam, the Season will ignite new collaborations that celebrate the best of UK–Vietnamese partnerships, and strengthen the connections between the people of the UK and Viet Nam. The Season will imagine our future together by bringing together artists, universities, and civil society leaders. People across Viet Nam and the UK will have the opportunity to experience innovative and exciting creative work from some of the best UK and Viet Nam companies, artists and institutions creating together.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22 we reached 650 million people.