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Níall McLaughlin: ‘The day you start as a student you begin as an architectural practitioner’

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Watch Níall McLaughlin give a speech about his life-long learning and how research has continued to inform his practice’s output

In the speech McLaughlin reflects on his own education – when he was taught by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, and John Tuomey and Sheila O’Donnell – where he formed his ethos of teaching being central to architectural practice.

In the perennial debate over whether education should prioritise ’oven-ready’ skills or design experimentation, McLaughlin proposes another idea: ’The day you start as a student you begin as an architectural practitioner who has a duty to architectural practice. You begin to learn and you don’t stop learning until you retire.’

He goes on to relate how when he opened his practice in a flat on the Portobello Road, ’students were on the balcony mixing concrete from the beginning’. He also discusses recent projects including his research into designing for people with dementia.

McLaughlin spoke on 13 June 2018 at the AJ100 Awards at the Tower of London. 

The AJ’s student special is publihsde this week (26 July).

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