Describing Architecture


Describing Architecture is a significant and innovative project, developed over the last seven years to increase the public’s understanding of architecture and engagement with the built environment.

Describing Architecture reveals unseen aspects of architecture as a creative practice, alongside its relationship to the visual arts and the work of artists.

Describing Architecture explores an expansive thematic each year. The exhibition includes work across a wide range of media – drawing, photography, model and film – and from a broad spectrum of Irish and international participants, including established architectural firms, emerging practitioners, architects, artists, students, graduates and design collectives.

Engagement with the public is mediated through a dynamic free programme of events, talks, guided tours, publications and workshops, which collectively explore the works and themes of the exhibition in more detail, thereby encouraging a fuller understanding of architecture, its practical methods and the design process. The online catalogue forms an integral part of the curatorial strategy for the exhibition, enabling continued engagement with the work, and functions as an open archive, specifically designed to chronicle each years contributions, critical conversations and outputs.


Describing Architecture is organised and curated by Antóin Doyle. An Advisory Group comprising practitioners and scholars from a range of disciplines has been established to support the on-going direction of the exhibition and to be a critical sounding board for proposals and future developments. The Advisory Group consists of Áine O’Brien, Alan Mee, Miriam Delaney and Niall McCullough.

Describing Architecture simply wouldn’t happen without the support of a wide range of groups, organisations and individuals who give their time, experience and resources. The exhibition is physical proof of that generosity.

Since 2010 these have included;
Val Bogan, Rob Bourke, Noreile Breen, Jerome Breslin, Gavin Buggy, Elizabeth Burns, Michael Caffrey, Donough Cahill, Brian Carey, Douglas Carson, Alice Clancy, Andrew Clancy, Donal Colfer, Brian Cregan, Rosaleen Crushell, Dariusz Cyparski, Miriam Delaney, Luc Dikansky, Anne Doyle, Seán Doyle, Colm Dunbar, Rónán Gallagher, Kate Gannon, Anne Gorman, Alan Grossman, James Hayes, David Healy, Seamus Hogan, Hugo Lamont, Conor Maguire, Sarah Maguire, James Martin, Francis Matthews, Ronan McCann, Colm Moore, Rae Moore, Moyles Family, Fergus Naughton, Cormac Nolan, Mike O’Dell, Jennifer O’Donnell, Laura O’Gorman, Clodagh O’Hagan, Hannah Pinckheard, Respublica, James Rossa O’Hare, Lindsay Roughneen, Deirdre Spring, David Stronge, Workhouse Assembly.

The exhibition has been supported by the Architectural Association of Ireland, the Arts Council, the Departmemt of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Irish Georgian Society, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre & Clarendon Properties, the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, DublinTown, the Irish Architecture Foundation, Dublin City Council, National College of Art and Design, Hacketts Digital, Woodworkers, the Ormond Building, and has connections with Schools of Architecture at CCAE, DIT, QUB, UCD, UL, UU & WIT.

Describing Architecture can be contacted at

Antóin Doyle
November 2016

The exhibition was co-curated with Alice Clancy from 2011 to 2013.


2014 and 2015 photography by Brian Cregan.

2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 photography by Alice Clancy.

All other images and drawings courtesy of the participants and organisers.

Photographs cannot be used for commercial purposes or third party use without the permission of the photographers.