• Thursday , 14 November 2019

RIAI Annual Conference 2017: Challenge, Change and Collaboration

Challenge, Change and Collaboration are the themes for this year’s RIAI Annual Conference which takes place in the RDS Main Hall, Dublin on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October. The RIAI Annual Conference is the biggest architectural gathering of the year and an important forum to meet, debate and launch new ideas. The RIAI and President Carole Pollard have developed a fantastic programme over two days which includes the renowned British architect Alison Brooks and the award-winning Irish journalist Fintan O’Toole among the keynote speakers.


Alison Brooks is Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects. She is recognised as one of the leading architects of her generation and has developed an international reputation for design innovation, as well as a voice advocating for the social project of architecture and the role of women in the profession. Named by Debrett’s as one of ‘Britain’s 500 Most Influential’, Alison Brooks is the only British architect to have won all three of the UK’s most prestigious awards for architecture: the RIBA Stirling Prize, Manser Medal and Stephen Lawrence Prize. In 2012, Alison Brooks and her team were awarded the BD Architect of the Year and Housing Architect of the Year accolades. In 2013, Brooks was named Woman Architect of the Year by the Architect’s Journal in recognition of her progressive work in housing, regeneration and education.

Since establishing Alison Brooks Architects in 1996, her architecture has attracted worldwide acclaim for its conceptual rigour, sculptural quality and ingenious detailing.

Her most significant civic commission to date, the 6000m2 Exeter College Cohen Quadrangle at the University of Oxford, will be unveiled in Autumn 2017. Brooks’ portfolio in large scale regeneration includes the Stirling Prize-winning Accordia in Cambridge as well as Newhall Be in Harlow, Essex, and she is currently designing landmark buildings in King’s Cross and Greenwich Peninsula. Her work in Cambridge includes high-density urban housing at Severn Place, as well as multiple lots within the ambitious North West Cambridge Development. Her recently completed Ely Court housing project was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, the Mies van der Rohe Award.


Fintan O’Toole is a columnist with The Irish Times and Leonard L. Milberg Visiting Lecturer in Irish Letters at Princeton. He has received both the European Press and the Orwell Prize for his journalism in 2017. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Guardian and The Observer. His latest book is Judging Shaw.

Alison Brooks and Fintan O’Toole will be joined by an impressive line-up of speakers, who will take on the big issues impacting on the architectural profession under the headings Challenge, Change and Collaboration. Challenge will focus on establishing and maintaining a successful career; running a successful architectural practice; implementing building regulations; and updating skills and keeping abreast of ever the increasing regulatory framework. Under the topic Change, the conference will discuss climate change and the impact on architecture; the changing political and economic environment; the role of the profession in addressing our changing national demographic; and the changing face of Irish architecture and its international impact. The conference will also present innovative ideas and opportunities arising out of Collaboration with other architects, other construction professionals and with communities. A conference highlight will be ‘The Great Debate’, when architect, urbanist and academic Dr. Alan Mee and Tom Holbrook, author of Expanding Disciplinarity in Architectural Practice, will argue ‘The Generalist vs The Specialist’ in the architectural profession.

The RIAI Annual Conference runs alongside Architecture Expo, the premier annual event in architectural and construction products and a showcase in design and innovation. See also archiexpo.ie.

For regular conference updates and to book see also riai.ie and riaiconference.ie. Special Early Bird rates apply throughout August and early September.

The RIAI Annual Conference is supported by OutHouse and its companies Kingscourt Brick and StonePave.

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