Future architects from TU Dublin lead radical change in how we build

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Students from TU Dublin joined over 160 peers from the eight schools of architecture across the island of Ireland at the School of Architecture at University of Limerick (SAUL) last week, to present sustainable pilot projects as part of the second ‘Building Change’ Student Symposium.

Second- and third-year students Liam Donlon, Josh McGrath, Catalina Cucereanu, Emila Rotaru, Oliver Moloney Daly and fourth year students Ciara McHugh, Shane Bannigan and Conor Kehoe, from TU Dublin presented their resilient design pilot projects at the symposium. The work of fourth year student Alex Dillon was presented by lecturer Dermot Boyd. 

Students from the University of Limerick, South East Technological University, Atlantic Technological University, and the Cork Centre for Architecture Education (CCAE), a joint initiative of University College Cork and Munster Technological University, also presented on themes such as carbon neutral construction, embodied energy, the circular economy and design for disassembly.

Building Change: Ireland’s future architects unite at University of Limerick Student Symposium. Pictured Emilia Rotaru, TU Dublin, speaking for the Building Change student symposium

The first-of-its-kind globally, ‘Building Change’ is a national, collaborative project between all six schools of architecture in the Republic of Ireland to radically transform the professional curricula. Funded by the Higher Education Authority, the project is underpinned by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and Ireland’s Housing for All and Climate Action plans, to empower future graduates to meet the ongoing challenges of the housing and climate crises.

Pictured speaking at the School of Architecture at University of Limerick for the Building Change student symposium was TU Dublin lecturer Dermot Boyd.

Speaking at the event, Head of Architecture at SAUL, Peter Carroll said, “Today’s event is unique in architecture education and perhaps across all higher education across the island. We’re bringing together students from every school of architecture on both sides of the border to share their learnings from hands-on pilot projects, and to inform our transformation of the curricula. 

“We’re asking students today, what areas they want to see prioritised in the curricula change and how they can mobilise to create an all-island student society or climate-led action group which will carry their skills and knowledge from our studios into practical application in their future careers.”

Pictured speaking at the School of Architecture at University of Limerick for the Building Change student symposium was TU Dublin student Josh McGrath. Photo Eamon Ward

Also speaking at the event, Emma Geoghegan, Head of Architecture at TU Dublin, said, “This is the second Student Symposium event as part of the Building Change project and it’s fantastic to see how engaged students are in this process to radically transform the curricula. Many of them have been inspired to pursue a career in architecture and design because it is such a crucial area in terms of climate action and sustainability, which we know is a huge motivator for younger generations.” 

This week, TU Dublin School of Architecture will host a 4-day programme for Transition Year students from across Ireland. Ms. Geoghegan said “We’ve been delivering a Transition Year programme for ten years now and this year, applications have more than doubled to 220 so we know there is great interest in the subject. We’ll be bringing 75 students together to introduce them to the built environment through creative processes, all of it rooted in the need for sustainable, resilient design.”

Featured Image: Pictured at the School of Architecture at University of Limerick for the Building Change student symposium were Eduard Iacub , UL 2nd year student , Josh McGrath, TU Dublin 2nd year student and Alice Tyrrell, SETU Waterford Student.

Photos Eamon Ward

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