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The RIAI Conference took place on 11 and 12 October at the RDS Dublin – the largest architectural conference and networking event in Ireland and an unmissable date in the diary for the built environment sector. This year’s theme #Collaboration puts a spotlight on the collaborative nature of architecture, as well as highlighting that the challenges we are facing – climate change, affordable housing and the need for liveable cities and towns – can only be solved through collaboration.
The RIAI Conference took place alongside the Architecture + Building Expo, featuring many of Ireland’s leading building technology providers.
This year’s RIAI Conference Sponsor was once again OUTHAUS, who has been a supporter of the RIAI Conference since 2016.
Speakers at the 2023 Conference included:
Níall McLaughlin, Winner of the 2022 RIBA Stirling Prize for the New Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge
Practising in London, Níall’s work is celebrated across Ireland, the UK and Europe for high-quality designs from education to culture and housing. Earlier this year, he won the prestigious RIAI Public Choice Award for the International Rugby Experience, which had a transformative effect on Limerick’s inner-city and has become a national and international destination.
Annalie Riches, Co-founder of Stirling Prize Winners, Mikhail Riches
Annalie discussed the regeneration of Europe’s largest listed ‘building’ – the Park Hill estate in Sheffield, containing 1,000 refurbished homes. This project is taking a sustainable long-term view, rather than a quick fix through demolition and rebuilding. A resident described the project as follows: “What Mikhail Riches have done is nothing short of magnificent. They have approached the project like cultural archaeologists, scratching the surface to uncover the positive community spirit.” (Leanne Cloudsdale, Park Hill Resident, Letter to the AJ magazine, January 2023)
Pooja Agrawal, Co-founder and CEO of the social enterprise Public Practice
With a background in architecture and planning, Pooja Agrawal co-founded the social enterprise Public Practice. They fill an important skills need in the UK Public sector, which suffered from a reduction of architectural and urban design expertise and places professional expertise where needs arise.
Tonje Værdal Frydenlund, Director of Operations at the Norwegian Architecture firm Snøhetta
Snøhetta has been at the forefront of designing renowned public and cultural projects for over thirty years, including the landmark Oslo Opera House as well driving sustainability. The practice delivers projects around the world, dealing with differing cultural and political environments and we look forward to hearing how Snøhetta is setting agenda in an increasingly complex globalised world.
Rachel Hoolohan, Orms, London
Orms is a leading London architecture practice with extensive experience working with existing buildings. Rachel co-leads the practice’s sustainability consultancy work and will discuss her research into material passports, which was initiated as part of a wider Grosvenor Estate Innovation Project into material reuse.
Conference highlights also included:
Town Centre Living Exhibition
An exhibition of the Winners, Shortlist and Entries of the Town Centre Living competitions. Over 100 architectural designs were submitted to the RIAI earlier this year for public housing in town centres for this architectural design competition run by the RIAI in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the local authorities for the towns: Castleblaney, Kildare, Roscrea and Sligo.
RIAI Pop-Up Bookshop
The RIAI brought its popular bookshop to the Conference as a pop-up. The RIAI Bookshop featured the largest selection of architecture and design books in Ireland.
The RIAI Student Awards and Future Awards
The RIAI Conference celebrated the next generation of architects at the Conference through prizes and presentations by the young winners.