RIAI Annual Conference

Leadership | Innovation | Creativity

October 5 & 6 | Royal Dublin Society

The RIAI Annual Conference is the biggest architectural gathering of the year and an important forum to meet, network and debate new ideas. RIAI President David Browne has set the theme Leadership | Innovation | Creativity as three key skills that define the architectural professional. An impressive line-up of international and national speakers will discuss the themes. The conference experience is further enhanced by the Architecture + Building Expo which runs alongside the conference and is a platform for over 60 exhibitors, showcasing product and technology innovation.


With Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara at the helm of the world’s biggest architecture showcase – La Biennale di Venezia – this is a special year for Irish architecture. The RIAI is delighted to announce that – ahead of the RIAI Members’ Study Trip – Yvonne and Shelley, the Biennale curators, will share their theme FREESPACE and their insight into global architecture with the conference.


We are also delighted to announce a number of influential international keynote speakers:

US-based Phillip G. Bernstein, an architect, technologist and Lecturer in Professional Practice at the Yale School of Architecture, will discuss the leadership skills of architects and ‘why architecture needs a new business model’. In a recent article Professor Bernstein argued that there needs to be a shift in the “value propositions of practice from selling time to creating results for clients”. This resonates deeply with the theme of leadership of the RIAI Conference and the experience among Irish architectural practices.


Philip Vivian
, a Director of Bates Smart Architects has been leading in technology and design innovation in Australia and will speak on developing his architectural practice through design thinking and competitions. The City of Sydney has mandated competitions, which opened possibilities for architects to win larger scale city work.


Sadie Morgan
, a Director of drmm Architects in London will share how architects extend their influence into areas such as transport infrastructure and urban development. Sadie Morgan is Chair of the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two and a Design Advocate for the Greater London Authority.


Also from London, architect Russell Curtis – a Director of procurement innovators Project Compass and and former Chair of RIBA Procurement Reform Group – will discuss proposals to work to reform procurement in the building industry. Procurement reform and better access to projects for SMEs is a major issue in the Irish architectural profession.


Joining us from Dublin is Prof Jennifer McElwain, Professor of Botany at Trinity College. Professor McElwain will offer fascinating insights into the effects of Climate Change through her work as a Paleo-Botanist.


We are delighted that Outhaus have joined us again this year as Premier Conference Sponsors. The RIAI Annual Conference runs alongside Architecture + Building Expo on Friday 5 & Saturday 6 October.


In association with Architecture + Building Expo – archiexpo.ie