MAG comprises a Chair and eight members with diverse experience and expertise in the field of architecture and the built environment; the Group is supported by a panel of Expert Advisors and a secretariat within the Department for Communities.


Andrew Haley

Andrew is a Director with The Paul Hogarth Company, is a Built Environment Expert with the Design Council and is a High Street Task Force Expert Advisor. He contributes his placemaking skills in neighbourhoods, towns, cities and rural locations, having been responsible for award-winning Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Regeneration projects across the UK, Ireland and internationally. These have included Hillsborough Castle, Connswater Community Greenway and the Wild Atlantic Way. His projects put people and the environment at their heart. Andrew leads MAG’s work in Northern Ireland, as well as representing it and sharing knowledge with UK counterparts and internationally.


David Coyles      

David currently works in academia as a senior lecturer in further education and is a qualified architect, having previously worked in an architectural practice. He is the Director of the Architectural Research Group at Ulster University, through which he helps provide insights into architecture, urban design, sustainable design and community engagement, and is an elected councillor of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects.

Kate Crinion       

Kate currently works as an academic researcher and is a qualified architect, having previously worked in an architectural practice. Through her research she has worked collaboratively with others, engaged with stakeholders and worked towards an agreed outcome. She brings a range of planning and urban design skills to the MAG, with a particular interest on flood related issues.

Roisin Donnelly

Roisin specialises in Historic Building Conservation, becoming an RIBA Accredited Specialist Conservation Architect in 2011. She is a former SPAB Scholar and has served on the Ulster Architectural Heritage and the RSUA Conservation Committees. Her expertise includes restoration and re-use of historic buildings as well as development proposals for significant or sensitive locations. She is currently a Project Manager with the National Trust responsible for Visitor and Commercial Growth across the region. As secretary of a local Regeneration Forum, she contributes to its management, governance and strategic direction.

Rodney Hall

Rodney Hall is a registered architect, now semi-retired following a long career as principal / partner / director in local architectural practice and is a former Council member of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects. He has led a large number of successful architectural schemes covering sectors including healthcare, leisure, housing and conservation. He has worked with stakeholders and multidisciplinary teams on projects such as Bank Buildings in Belfast and Omagh Hospital.

Ruth Hunter

Ruth is a Professor in Public & Planetary Health in higher education, focusing on how the urban environment can be improved for better population health and planetary health. She has experience in leading a range of research projects and working with a range of partners and stakeholders on key government policies and consultations.

Barry McCarron

Dr Barry McCarron is employed as Head of Business Development for South West College specialising in the areas of research development and innovation in all areas of sustainability with a particular emphasis on high performance construction. He has been a key influence in South West College with the award winning certified Passive House CREST (Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies) Pavilion and the more recent Passive House Premium Erne Campus. Barry is passionate the construction sectors journey to net zero and has expertise in retrofitting standards. He is a former chairperson of the Passive house association of Ireland (PHAI).

Barry holds a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast which focused on investigating the passive house building standards influence on indoor radon concentrations. He has twenty years’ experience in the construction industry specialising in sustainable construction and renewable energy. Barry is a key part of the team at South West College working towards developing the College into a Regional Centre of Excellence for Passive House of training in both the Designer and Tradesperson courses.

Alice McGlone

Alice McGlone is a chartered town planner who returned to Northern Ireland just over a decade ago having held roles in planning, housing, urban regeneration and the integration of services across the built and rural environments in Great Britain and Australia.

She is a former convenor (Chair) of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in Scotland and represented Scotland at the RTPI UK National Executive in London. She also contributed to the development of national planning policy and guidance through membership of the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Architecture and the Built Environment.

Since returning home, she has worked on community planning in Derry and Strabane; for the Rural Development Programme in the North East Region and in local government in Belfast. Alice has a particular interest and expertise in the delivery of good quality, well-managed, affordable housing and the quality of place-making required to make sure that urban regeneration projects evolve into successful neighbourhoods and communities. She is also actively involved in engagement with local communities and liaison with stakeholders to ensure more effective delivery of services and projects across the West Belfast area.

Carol Ramsey

Carol is a chartered Town Planner with over 40 years’ experience working across a number of Departments. She has worked on a range of major urban regeneration schemes and public realm schemes across Northern Ireland. She was Director of Strategic Planning in the Department of Infrastructure prior to her retirement in 2018. She is a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Board Member of Belfast Healthy Cities. She brings a range of skills and experiences in planning, community planning and working with communities to the MAG. She is also a Member of the Historic Buildings Council.

Expert Advisors

Andrew Abraham

Andrew is an Architect who for the last 5 years has worked for Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in their Belfast and London offices. Andrew has been involved in a number of projects of ranging scales including Belfast’s Inner North West Masterplan, the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences and most recently a major grade A office development in Belfast City Centre.

His work has involved active engagement with key stakeholders and has a strong in the promotion of good design values. Andrew’s primary interest is in research and innovation through design and he is a prominent member of FCBS’ research and Innovation group. Through this Andrew has conducted a number of research projects exploring living in cities with a particular focus on Belfast and quality of housing.

He has written a number of published articles, notably ‘Peace by Peace’ – an exploration of memory and reimaging contested space within Belfast. This piece was presented to the Royal Irish Academy, published in several journals and received an award from the Irish Walled Towns Network. Through his work and research, Andrew has seen a number of high profile projects through the planning process, most recently a mixed office development in the heart of Belfast and Belfast’s first build to rent scheme.

Andrew is currently working on a research piece through his work with MAG in assessing qualities of residential space.

Arthur Acheson

Arthur is a registered architect and chartered town planner with experience in architectural education and professional practice. Arthur was the founder chair of Belfast Civic Trust in 1982 and the initiator of the Architectural Aid service in Northern Ireland with the Royal Society of Ulster Architects and Citizens Advice Bureau. Arthur chairs Ligoniel Community Enterprises and co-chairs Ligoniel Village Neighbourhood Partnership which was established under the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy of the Department for Communities. He is a Design Council Built Environment Expert Associate. Arthur's principal interest is stewardship of places through the positive involvement of individuals and groups with a wide range of passionate interests with local communities in local places. As chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group from 2010 to 2016 he led the team which produced the on-line Creative Consultation Toolkit and introduced Civic Stewardship to Northern Ireland's Strategic Planning Policy and supplementary planning guidance.

Catherine Adams

Catherine has 37 years’ experience in the profession and has been involved in a diverse breadth of projects from EIAs and Master Plan studies, Park refurbishments, health care, university campuses and schools' projects, Public Realm schemes in NI and Scotland and major sports projects including National Indoor Sports Arena and Velodrome, Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games and the National Football Training Centre for Hong Kong. She acted as a Landscape client advisor for the Royal Commission for Alula and was planting designer for part of Green Riyadh. She enjoyed major horticultural schemes and has a good working knowledge of plants with the Belfast Cancer Centre winning the ALCI premier Bog Oak Trophy. Many of the schemes in which she has been involved have had challenging planning issues which were successfully overcome by good design and early liaison with Stakeholders. She has experience in working in sites with Environmental designations, contamination issues, Conservation Area designation and sites listed in the Historic Park, Garden and Demesne Register. Many large schemes were assessed by LEED, BREEAM or CEEQUAL. 

In her role as Regional Director in AECOM and member of the Architectural Sustainability Group she reviewed projects against sustainability goals and design quality. Since her retirement in 2022 she has been volunteering for The Conservation Volunteers tree nursery and pursuing her love of horticulture.

Jason Bolton

Jason is a conservation scientist and archaeologist, specialising in the conservation of historic buildings and archaeological monuments. He began his career as a maritime archaeologist before moving into the field of architectural conservation. Jason was educated in TCD, TUDublin and UCD in Ireland, with additional specialist training in architectural conservation in Venice, Athens, Lisbon, Thessaloniki and Vienna. He has lectured in conservation in TCD, UCD and for the RSUA and has published a range of books and papers on conservation since 1997. Jason is also a member of the Historic Monuments Council.

Justine Daly

Justine Daly is an urban designer and physical regeneration specialist in the Asset Management Unit at The Strategic Investment Board. She is a Recognised Practitioner of the Urban Design Group and a qualified architect with extensive experience of leading multi-disciplinary teams and creative and traditional engagement; preparing masterplans, regeneration strategies, site capacity exercises and development briefs; in addition to providing design advice and negotiations for private, semi-public and public sector clients.

She brings to the MAG an appreciation of the complexities of delivering long term regeneration; urban design skills from rigorous analysis to proposals; and engagement techniques with communities, stakeholders and leaders. She brings an understanding of community based approaches as well as the commercial realities and technical practicalities of delivery.

Eoin Farrell

Eoin Farrell is a Senior Land Use & Transport Planner working for the National Transport Authority (NTA) in Dublin. Eoin has worked on a range of plans and projects at European, National and Local level, notably the transport strategies for Dublin and Galway cities, and the BusConnects Dublin project. Eoin has guest lectured in land use and transportation planning at Trinity College, Dublin, and is a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

John Fitzgerald

John Dickson FitzGerald is Managing Director of Dickson FitzGerald Architects, a design based architectural practice with offices in Belfast and Donegal. Educated at Queens University Belfast John has over 30 years post registration experience and before setting up his own practice in 2012 has worked in award winning practices in London, Edinburgh and Dublin. In 2002 he gained a postgraduate certificate from the University of Ulster in Architectural Conservation. He has developed specialisms in master planning, residential design, commercial and leisure/culture as well as collaborations and consultations with local authorities and councils in Scotland and Ireland both North and South. John has contributed to a number of publications including 'a gendered profession' for the RIBA and 'Beyond the shadow space' for the Journal of Architecture. In 2018 he was voted onto the RSUA Quality Design panel.

Tara Florence

Tara Florence is originally from Canada but has made her home in Belfast for 20 years where she currently practises as a chartered architect for Hamilton Architects. Throughout her career she has been an activist for design quality in architecture and the urban environment through her work with PLACE, FAB and as a previous council member of the RSUA. As well as taught part time for a number of years at the University of Ulster in planning and urban design, she brings with her an experience of working with community groups, councils, private clients in regeneration projects, conservation projects, urban design and placemaking.

James Hamilton

James is a Chartered Architect and leads an international architectural practice ‘James Hamilton Architects’, which he founded in 2010. Prior to starting the practice, James worked at Foster and Partners, Allies and Morrison and Grimshaw’s.

James Hamilton Architects now works on a variety of building typologies and sectors and has gained design recognition through their projects and offices in America, Caribbean, Ireland and the UK. In recent years, James Hamilton Architects have gained extensive building conservation experience, through their projects on both listed buildings and projects in World Heritage Sites.

James remains passionate about theory and placemaking in architecture and is a part time lecturer at the Yeats Academy of Art and Architecture at ATU Sligo.

Feargal Harron

Feargal Harron is a Partner and Chartered Architect at Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects. He has worked on a wide range of commercial, healthcare, ecclesiastical, residential and mixed use projects for both public and private sector clients. A number of these projects have received awards from the RIBA, RSUA, RICS and Civic Trust. Feargal was the Project Architect for the award-winning Strule Arts Centre and Redevelopment Project in Omagh and is currently involved in association with Avanti Architects from London on a number of healthcare schemes such as the Phase B Redevelopment of the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Belfast.

James Hennessey

James Hennessey is a qualified Urban Designer and Chartered Landscape Architect. In his position as Director for The Paul Hogarth Company, James is heavily engaged in strategic master planning, regeneration and public realm projects across the island of Ireland and further afield. Combined with his skills and interest in community consultation and participation, this has led to a number of award winning projects in recent years. James is also an active academic with Queens University, where he gained a PhD in 2023 and is a guest tutor of Urban Design.

Alan Jones

Alan Jones is a chartered architect, educated at Queen’s University, having worked in London for over ten years with Michael Hopkins & Partners and David Morley Architects before returning home to teach and to begin his own practice. He is a Fellow of the RIBA, Honorary Fellow of the RIAS, past president of the RSUA and is RIBA President 2019-21.  He has worked on seven projects that received RIBA awards, two shortlisted for the Stirling Prize and two receiving RSUA Awards.  Alan has been a guest assessor on numerous design awards juries, provides expert opinion on design and his work is published widely.  Alan is a Professor of Practice & Education and jointly ran Architecture at Queen’s 2008-16.

Phil Jones

Phil is an engineer with extensive experience in the planning and design of transport infrastructure. He specialises in achieving synergy between street and urban design, with the aim of creating places and spaces that meet aesthetic, social and functional aims. Phil is Chairman of PJA, a 130-strong firm which conducts transport, engineering and placemaking work. He was part of the team that produced Manual for Streets and was a lead writer on Manual for Streets 2. He is a member of several design review panels including Highways England, Design West, Transport for London, and Design South East. In the last few years Phil has focused on active travel and in 2019 was appointed by Welsh Government to chair a working group advising on setting a default 20mph speed limit for urban areas in Wales. In 2019 led the drafting of updated DfT guidance on cycling infrastructure, now published as LTN 1/20 and worked with DfT and campaign groups on the 2022 changes to the Highway Code.

Greg Keeffe

Greg Keeffe is Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Queens University, and Head of the School of Natural and Built Environment. Greg is an award-winning urban designer, who works closely with architects to develop exciting ways of re-invigorating the city through innovative cultural, technological and sustainable interventions, which create not only ecological solutions, but offer new social and economic futures. He was until 2012 Head of School at Leeds School of Architecture, and previously Head of Design at Manchester School of Architecture. He holds visiting posts at TU Delft, Keio University Japan, ORT Uruguay and in 2013 and 2015, he was awarded the Strauch Visiting Professorship in Architecture at Cornell University. His current research includes CityZEN - an EU-funded project aiming to adapt neighbourhoods to be zero energy and M-NEX a multi-national project funded by the Belmont Forum which aims to develop design-led solutions to make cities more productive in terms of food and energy. The project is developing living labs in Sydney, Tokyo, Qatar, Amsterdam, Detroit and Belfast.

Trevor Leaker

An Architect by profession, Trevor has been in private practice in Belfast for over 25 years and is the author of many published and award-winning buildings.

He is a Director with AECOM, where he is the Managing Director for its UK&I Design Disciplines, including: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Workplace Consultancy, Interior Design, Visualisation, Master-planning, Specification Consulting, Town Planning and Economic Development. Additionally, he is AECOM’s Regional Leader in Northern Ireland for all consultancies that it provides as a team of 120 staff under the heading of Buildings and Places.

He is a Past President of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects and is currently a member of its Council.

Emma Lynn

Emma is a founding director of Studio MULTI and leads the Amsterdam office. She has broad experience in a diverse range of award-winning projects, working internationally in Dublin, London, and Copenhagen. Her interest is in the spaces between buildings - the streets, squares, and thresholds where life takes place. Before becoming a founding member of Studio Multi, she worked with Schulze+Grassov urban designers in Copenhagen, working on The Design District in London and the rejuvenation of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Prior to that she was an Associate at Hawkins\Brown, working on the Agar Grove Passivhaus regeneration project and the Epping Forest District Museum.

Emma is a member of the London Borough of Lambeth Design Review Panel and an accredited Healthy Streets Practitioner. She is a registered architect in both the UK and the Netherlands and is an affiliate member of the Landscape Institute.

Ciaran Mackel

Ciarán Mackel is Director of ARdMackel Architects, and until October 2022 was also Associate Senior Lecturer at Belfast School of Architecture at Ulster University. He provides specialist advice on Architecture and the Built Environment to the Ministerial Advisory Group in the Department for Communities. He is chair of the Gaeltacht Quarter Board and a board member of the Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation.

Dermot MacRandal

Dermot has worked in the private sector in both large and small general architectural practice, developing an increasing interest in working with historic buildings. He set up a small architectural practice specialising in Conservation work in 1997 and worked on a number of challenging projects including the restoration and conservation of two tower houses as private residences.

In 2005 he moved to the Public Sector into what is now the Historic Environment Division of the Department for Communities. He has worked in almost all the principal branches of the division, New listings, Grant work, Planning control for Listed Buildings and Conservation areas, Technical Advisory publications and running the direct Labour organisation of craftsperson’s who maintain the 190 Monuments in State Care. He is now the Senior Architect in the Major Projects team looking after State Care Monuments. He is currently engaged in major works to Carrickfergus Castle (a new oak roof), Dundrum Castle and Dunluce Castle. He is a committee member of the Building Limes Forum Ireland and the RSUA Editorial Committee for Perspective Magazine.

Julian Manev

Mr Manev is an architect with 10 years of experience working at Hall McKnight Architects in Belfast. His professional focus has primarily been working with existing buildings across the UK. He has served a 4-year term as a Member of MAG from 2019-2023. Mr Manev teaches regularly at Queen's University Belfast School of Architecture and serves on the RIBA Validation Board Panels. Together with two long-term collaborators, Mr Manev won the Royal Society of Ulster Architects Young Architect Competition in Autumn 2023.

Graham Marshall

Graham studied landscape architecture and urban design with an aspiration to spend a lifetime changing and improving places. Through the 1990’s, he worked with leading London practices on the emerging urban design agenda and national policy development and in 1999 was a founding director of the governments Urban Regeneration Company, Liverpool Vision. Graham established the Prosocial Place Programme in 2012 with colleagues at the University of Liverpool where he is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Population Health Sciences. His work is widely published. Graham has contributed to several regional Design Review Panels, sat on the steering group for the NHS Healthy New Towns programme, is currently a Built Environment Expert with Design Council CABE and Expert Advisor to the High Streets Task Force.

Sharon McClements

Sharon McClements PhD, MRICS, SFHEA, PGCHEP, BSc Hons is a chartered quantity surveyor, Senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy and non-executive board member of the RICS Northern Ireland. She lectures at Ulster University in a range of Built Environment programmes and supervisors PhD researchers in areas of infrastructure and BIM. She has presented her research at international conferences and has secured funding grants for her research and consultancy. Sharon won the Herbert Walton Excellence Award, from APM, for her PhD thesis. Sharon is also an Expert Author on the Infrastructure Framework and Risks for RICS. Sharon’s external appointments include External Examiner, PhD examiner, external panel member for programme validations, academic reviewer for RICS and international academic journals. Sharon also chairs APC panels for both quantity surveying and project management pathways.

Suzanne McCoy

Suzanne McCoy is an Architect with 30 years experience working in Private Practice. Suzanne has successfully managed and completed many building projects in various sectors, with multiple stakeholders, using a variety of building contracts. Suzanne has an RSUA certificate in Conservation, and ONC Level 4 in BIM and is a member of the Architects Registration Board.

Colin McCrossan

Colin qualified as an architect in 1990 and worked for the first part of his career as a project architect, both in private and public sector (education). Further to this he worked as the (client side) Project Director for a number of high value, complex public sector projects, moving to the Strategic Investment Board in 2008. From 2013, his role has developed in to one which advises public sector organisations on the strategic planning of their estates in the context of what they do currently and what they would like to change going forward. This has emphasised the importance and relevance of how ‘places’ are ‘shaped’ locally, as a basis for such planning.

Michael McGarry

Michael McGarry, born Dublin, educated School of Architecture UCD Dublin and UVa Virginia, worked in London (for the Richard Rogers Partnership), Germany and Berlin (for Josef Paul Kleihues and International Building Exhibition Berlin) in the 1970s and 1980's as both architect and urban designer. In practice in Ireland with Siobhán Ní Éanaigh 1984 to 2021. Retired Fellow of the RIAI, founder member Group 91 Architects, RTPI Gold Medal winner, RIAI Silver Medal for Housing winner, RIAI Annual Awards winner, AAI Annual Awards winner, CCCB European Prize for Urban Public Space winner, and the 2017 Union of International Architects Medal Winner for Inclusive Spaces. Adjunct Professor of Architecture at RMIT Melbourne. Professor of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast involved in design teaching and design practice research.

Aidan McGrath

Born and educated in Belfast. Architectural education at Queen’s University Belfast (1974-81). Early architectural career in McCusker, Power and Leeson followed by Tangent Design Associates.

1990, a founding director of Twenty-two Over Seven Architects. 2012, established McGonigleMcGrath along with Kieran McGonigle. Both small design-centric practices received numerous design awards including 12 RIBA. Awards and diverse RSUA Design Awards together with 2 Liam McCormick Awards.

Judge in a number of major architectural competitions including The Giants Causeway Visitor Centre.

Member of RIBA Accreditation Visiting Boards. Member of the RSUA Design Review Panel. External Examiner in Architecture at the University of Ulster. Member of the Editorial Committee of the the RSUA Magazine “Perspective” and occasional contributor to it and other architectural magazines.

Garreth McMahon

Garreth is a co-founder and director of MMAS, an architecture and urban / rural design practice, based in Belfast. He is responsible for the creative direction and management of the practice, which has recently been recognised as a RIBA ‘Practice Role Model’. Since graduating from University of Dundee in 2002, he has been involved on a number of award winning projects, recognised both locally and nationally and has worked as a design tutor and guest critic at Belfast School of Architecture at Ulster University. Client and community focused, he aspires to make buildings, spaces and places that are contextually sensitive and socially conscious, with the ultimate ambition to contribute to a higher standard of built environment within our own regional urban and rural surroundings.

Nikki McVeigh

Nikki graduated with a first class honours degree, and a Masters in Architecture from Edinburgh University. Nikki also holds a Masters with distinction in Heritage Science from Queen’s University, Belfast and an Advanced Diploma in Management Practice with distinction from Ulster University. Through postgraduate studies, Nikki has conducted research into psychology, architecture and the archetype and legislation for the protection of listed buildings in Northern Ireland. Nikki has worked with Groves-Raines Architects, Edinburgh in practice. Nikki has also worked in the community voluntary sector in capital and community project management, education and interpretation with National Trust and as Interpretation Manager with the Department of Environment, now Department for Communities. Nikki was Chief Executive of Ulster Architectural Heritage from 2014 to 2021. Nikki is now Senior Collections & House Officer with the National Trust, Fermanagh.

Gerry Millar

Gerry Millar is a Chartered Surveyor by profession and has had a lengthy career in regeneration and city management. Following earlier positions with private sector contractors, NI Housing Executive and Building Control, Gerry was Head of Capital Works/ Urban Development in BCC from 1998-2005 during which time he led for the Council on the Gasworks development, St. Georges Market, Victoria Square. For the next five years Gerry was Director of Improvement & Change Management preparing the Council for a bigger role as per Local Government Reform. Following this Gerry held the post of Director of Property & Projects and devised and implemented a £500m plus investment programme of capital schemes ranging from new corporate offices, refurbishment of listed buildings e.g. City Hall, leisure centres to small community based schemes such as boxing clubs, various centres etc.   Gerry also expanded the councils role in partnership working with DSD/DFC, DfI and TEO (Urban Villages ) as well introducing new ways of working such as PMO, project management etc to BCC and gained valuable experience in working with politicians, communities and private consultants and contractors. Since retiring from BCC in 2019 Gerry has been a member of the MAG board and has also been an Associate Strategic Advisor with SIB which has seen his involvement in a number of projects including the NICTS and DAERA/AFBTI estate issues, Local Council Estate Forum and the Weavers Cross development.  Gerry is also a member of the Development & Assets board for Choice Housing Association.

Niamh Mulrine

Niamh has worked in urban regeneration within local government for many years, and is currently delivering regeneration and placemaking schemes in Belfast. She is actively working on a number of projects that help meet our current and future challenges, including spearheading a programme to address vacancy that has been recognised by the Institute of Place Management as an exemplar for other cities, and is currently leading on a programme to develop a framework for a net zero neighbourhood within Belfast that will leverage urban planning and design to help inform the socio-technical transitions for cities to meet their climate neutrality targets. She is passionate about testing ideas and working with others to think about how we create sustainable places where people want to live and thrive.

Marianne O'Kane Boal

Dr Marianne O’Kane Boal is a well-known curator and writer on art and architecture. She has written extensively on these subjects over the past 25 years. She writes for the Irish Arts Review, Circa, Perspective, Living Design, Visual Artists Newsletter and Architecture Ireland. She served as a Director on the board of the Context Galleries, Derry for seven years and has been on the Editorial Committee of Perspective since 2003. She is former Visual Arts Officer for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and has worked for the Office of Public Works in Dublin. She has curated over 50 exhibitions in Ireland and Northern Ireland. She regularly delivers webinars for Visual Artists Ireland as part of the professional development programme. Marianne O’Kane Boal completed her PhD in Social Research at Atlantic Technological University Sligo in 2023. She is a member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) and Expert Advisor on Art for the Ministerial Advisory Group on Architecture and the Built Environment.

Richard Partington

Richard is co-founder and director of Studio Partington, a multi-disciplinary practice working in housing, urbanism and regeneration. Richard has expertise in low-energy design through research projects, urban planning and architecture. Recent work includes the widely-published Derwenthorpe project in York for the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust; a headquarters and housing centre for newly formed Greenfields Community Housing; and a series of best practice guides for the NHBC Foundation.

Richard is a long-standing member of the London Borough of Newham Design Review Panel. He has been a visiting teacher at Cambridge University, UCL and University of Wales, Cardiff and has written articles for RIBA, CIBSE and Architect's Journals.

Gary Potter

Gary trained as a town planner and now works in urban regeneration in Belfast. Gary previously worked for NI’s Architecture and Built Environment Centre to deliver planning and urban design projects. He later worked to deliver social housing and has been involved with housing policy development. He established in 2006 as an independent resource to document changes to Belfast’s built environment.

Paul Reynolds

Paul is co-founder of London-based Landscape, Urban Planning and Design practice Tapestry, where he leads the company’s portfolio of urban design and landscape architecture projects. Paul is a recognised expert in transit-orientated development and has been involved in the feasibility and design of schemes in the UK and Internationally. He also works on delivering landscape planning, design, and assessment for large scale master planning and regeneration projects, alongside public realm projects at a range of scales. His clients including local authorities, central government, and private developers. He is particularly interested in producing landscape-led and people-orientated masterplans for large and complex sites, and where the opportunity exists to utilise infrastructure delivery as a facilitator for urban regeneration.

Austin Smyth

Austin Smyth, Professor Emeritus of Transport, is a transport planner and economist by training. He has held Professorships at four UK Universities, most recently as Director of the Centre for Sustainable Communities at the University of Hertfordshire. His academic experience also encompasses urban planning and architecture. He is an Academician Member of the Academy of Urbanism. Professor Smyth has interests in architecture and its relationship to the development of cities. His professional experience includes appointment by the UK Government as Examining Inspector, the Planning Inspectorate (England & Wales)/ Commissioner to the UK Infrastructure Planning Commission focusing on Strategic Infrastructure in England and Wales, as well as adviser to the UK Government and Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Professor Smyth has more than thirty five years’ experience in transport planning and operations, research and consultancy in the UK, USA, The Middle East, Russia and Ireland. He has undertaken commissions from The European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)/European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT).

Emily Smyth

Emily Smyth is a chartered landscape architect and university lecturer, with training also in architecture, planning, and art and design. Senior landscape architect with Soltys Brewster Consulting, Emily is also a member of the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside, and SEUPB Peace IV Steering and Monitoring Committees, and is on the Irish Landscape Institute Design Awards judging panel. Emily was previously Course Director for Landscape Architecture, and lecturer in architecture, at Ulster University, creating, delivering and examining engaging and meaningful learning programmes. Emily has practised landscape architecture throughout Ireland and internationally, undertaking extensive (and award-winning) built and natural regeneration, development and assessment projects. Emily was a founding member of the Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture & the Built Environment in Northern Ireland (MAG) and has held senior management positions for the Landscape Institute (including Chair of Landscaped Institute Northern Ireland). With her robust multidisciplinary background and a dedication to the landscape, people and environment of the island of Ireland, Emily has skills and experience in landscape architecture, education, sustainability, ecosystem services and resilience.

Ken Sterrett

Dr Ken Sterrett was a Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning & Design at Queen’s University for over 20 years. He previously worked in professional practice as a senior planner and was an advisor to the Belfast Action Teams on a number of peace-line projects. Ken was a member of the Wales Spatial Plan Management Board and also acted as an advisor to the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Environment Committee. He was a founder Director and Chair of the Forum for an Alternative Belfast, now City Reparo. Along with Prof. Frank Gaffikin, Ken was a co-investigator at Queen’s on a number of major EU funded action-research projects which focused on contested urban spaces and the potential for spatial reconciliations. Ken is also on the management boards of Donegall Pass Community Enterprises and Save the Cathedral Quarter campaign group.

Rachel Tracey

Rachel Tracey is an historical archaeologist. She received her PhD in archaeology from Queen's University Belfast in 2017. Her research focuses on material culture, town-building and cultural identity in early-modern Ireland and their continued legacies, challenging contested narratives of the past for the betterment of social relations in the present and of sharing heritage. She additionally holds an MA in the Archaeology of Buildings from the University of York. She is an elected committee member of the Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement and the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group.

She is currently based in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen's University Belfast, working in contested heritage / commemoration, community engagement and research impact.

Chris Upson

Chris Upson is a founding director of OGU Architects. Prior to this Chris has worked for many years in Dublin, London and Northern Ireland on various building and urban projects including court buildings, concert halls and performance spaces, conservation - including the refurbishment of a listed public baths - large scale housing and urban design work including post-Olympic work at Hackney Wick.

Chris set up OGU Architects with Rachel O’Grady in 2014. OGU primarily work with socially conscious clients and local communities to improve public places and buildings. They employ careful research, value material quality and prioritise meaningful collaboration with makers and manufacturers. OGU try to tease out the particularities of a project site in a way which resonates with people, often through an examination of the area’s history and development.

The majority of the practice’s recent projects are either for local authorities and public bodies or for high street business clusters, charity and community groups. OGU work at various scales from small scale temporary interventions, to public buildings, as well as much larger scale urban strategic work investigating pieces of towns and cities. Most recently they have become known for some of their temporary projects - testing the first moves in adjustments to the public realm - including the Ormeau Parklet, Adelaide Street or the recent interventions at 2 Royal Avenue Belfast. Working collaboratively with local craftspeople, they like to use these initial moves to test and research how changes might improve cities.

The Adelaide Street project recently beat over 200 entries to win the prestigious Architects Journal ‘Small Projects Award’ and 2 Royal Avenue is currently a Regional Finalist in the Civic Trust Awards. OGU were also selected in 2023 as one of five RIBA ‘Future Winners’ recognising innovative practices set up in the last ten years. Chris regularly teaches design and technology at Queen’s University Belfast and is a visiting lecturer and critic at a number of architecture schools.

Angus Waddington

Angus Waddington is a chartered architect and partner at Waddington-McClure Architects with expertise in architecture, master-planning and environmentally responsible design. Angus has designed and delivered prestigious projects throughout the UK and Ireland and was lead architect in the delivery of Titanic Belfast.

Angus has a keen interest in good urban design and master-planning, and with particular experience in third level education has developed plans across a number of campuses.

In Belfast Angus designed Queens’ School of Law, and the School of Art and Design for Ulster University, both complex projects which have been recognised by the RIBA and RIAI for their contribution to design and sustainability.

Angus’ interest in art and the public realm has led to a number of collaborative projects with artists.  Angus enjoys working with young people, promoting an awareness of architecture and sustainable design and has been an external assessor at Queen’s University and Ulster University.

Nicola Waddington

Nicola is a chartered architect and Director of Waddington-McClure Architects.   Nicola brings experience and skills in urban design, regeneration, conservation, planning and architecture to the MAG. She has had wide ranging experience both client side as a design manager and as an architect and urban designer on projects of all scales.

Nicola has served two terms as a member of MAG, working with councils, clients and local communities. She believes that by working together on strategic design we can inform and deliver better places for everyone.

Nicola is past Honorary Secretary of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects assessor at Queens University Belfast and a member of the RSUA Quality Design Panel. 

Patrick Wheeler 

Patrick Wheeler is a founding Director of Arigho Larmour Wheeler Architects, a cross border practice with studios in Belfast and Dublin.  Patrick has extensive expertise in the design of office, commercial and public developments as well as one-off houses and refurbishments. He was on the Jury for the Concrete Awards in 2018, teaches in the Masters of Architecture studio at QUB and been guest critic for the Umeå School of Architecture, Umeå University, Sweden.

David Worthington     

David Worthington is a graduate of Queens University Belfast, a Chartered Town Planner and is a director of Pragma Planning. He has had a long involvement with the RTPI's Policy Practice and Research Committee, which co-ordinates the Institute's policy preparation and unique research functions. In practice David has a wide experience of complex building and urban master planning projects. In particular he has provided advice on sustainable urbanism, developing master plans for planned urban extensions and leading design teams on some of the most important and sensitive sites in Northern Ireland.

Alex Wright        

Professor Alex Wright is Head of Architecture at the University of Bath. He is a graduate of the University of Bath, Cambridge University, and Harvard University, where he studied as a Harkness Fellow.  He worked in private practice for 15 years before accepting a full-time academic position in 2005.  Alex chaired the Architecture Advisory Group for the Quality Assurance Agency (2018-20), is a former Board member of the Architects’ Registration Board (2012-18) and a non-executive director of Aequus Ltd.  He is Chair of the South Gloucestershire Design Review Panel for Design West, Chair of the Swindon Design Review Panel and other review panels for Creating Excellence.

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