Dr Sandra O'Connell, architectural writer, editor and curator, and organiser, Dublin Open House, was nominated by Angela Brady for her contribution to architecture.
Born in Ulm, Germany, and educated at Trinity College Dublin, Sandra O'Connell is an architectural writer, editor and curator. She lives with her family in Dublin, Ireland and contributes in many ways to architecture and its importance to all our lives – a topic that she feels passionate about.
Since 2002 Sandra has been editor of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Architecture Ireland, a journal committed to excellence in Irish architectural practice and thought. In challenging times for the profession, the priority is to maintain the journal's relevance and topicality, as well as its leadership and quality standards.
In 2005 Sandra devised a new consumer magazine for the RIAI, which she edited until 2008. HOUSE architecture design, aimed towards a public audience and in particular that with an interest in the residential property, to communicate the value of architecture and using an architect.
Inspired by Open House London, Sandra was founding curator of the first Open House Dublin event, which she continues to run on an annual basis for the Irish Architecture Foundation. She has made Open House Dublin Ireland's largest and most popular architectural event. Responding to topical issues concerning society and the built environment, the 2011 theme, The Architecture of Change, explored how architecture can be a positive catalyst for change in society.
Sandra regularly writes on Irish architecture and Modernism in particular, two interests close to her heart, and contributes to national and international conferences. She is editor of the RIAI's Annual Review, Irish Architecture 2011/12, a comprehensive edition of award-winning projects drawn from the RIAI's prestigious Irish Architecture Awards.
Sandra is a board member of darc space (Dublin Architecture Space), the opening of which in 2009 coincided with the Open House Weekend. It is the only dedicated architecture gallery in the Republic of Ireland and aims to promote innovative energy-efficient and sustainable architecture.
Sandra curates a popular monthly architectural talk series Thursday Lunch at the gallery. She also co-curated in 2010 Slow Architecture and Place, a boat-based exhibition travelling on the Grand Canal from County Offaly to Dublin, exploring alternative approaches to art, architecture and the built environment.
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