About The Takshila Lecture on Architecture and Society

Architectural practice today is pushed to the peripheries of society it claims to serve. After three cycles of rigorously reviewing contemporary architecture from a diverse pool of practices, The Merit List strives to bring forth pertinent discussions on critical issues to a larger audience. The Merit List Jury over the past cycles has been able to articulate some immediate and urgent concerns that the fraternity of Architects and Designers in India must confront.

The Takshila Lecture on Architecture and Society is delivered by an eminent professional / academician that addresses growing disparity between the practice and pedagogy of Architecture in India, and the realities of our social, cultural and economic contexts. The lecture and the following dialogue aim to challenge the status-quo with a conviction that an open and honest conversation on the state of practice will instigate positive change.

The 2021 Takshila Lecture on Architecture and Society was presented by Níall McLaughlin on January 26th, 2021.


The recording of the lecture and transcript can be viewed here.


Níall McLaughlin was born in Geneva in 1962. He was educated in Dublin and studied architecture at University College Dublin between 1979 and 1984. He worked for Scott Tallon Walker for four years and established his own practice in London in 1990. He designs buildings for education, culture, health, religious worship and housing. He won Young British Architect of the Year in 1998, received the RIBA Charles Jencks Award for Simultaneous Contribution to Theory and Practice in 2016. Níall was elected an Aosdána Member for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Ireland and as a Royal Academician in the Category of Architecture in 2019. In 2020 he was awarded an Honorary MBE for Services to Architecture. Níall exhibited in the Venice Biennale in 2016 and 2018 and has been shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2013, 2015 and 2018.

Níall is Professor of Architectural Practice at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He was a visiting professor at the University of California Los Angeles from 2012-2013, and was appointed Lord Norman Foster Visiting Professor of Architecture at Yale for 2014-2015.

Significant projects from the practice include the Bandstand (Bexhill 2001), Pier Cafe (Deal 2006), Dirk Cove House (Cork 2004), ARC Building (Hull 2005), Goleen House (Cork 2008), Bishop Edward King Chapel (Oxford 2013), Olympic Athletes’ Housing (London 2012), Peabody Housing (Whitechapel 2015), Somerville Student Residence (Oxford 2010), West Court Jesus College (Cambridge 2017) and The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre (Oxford 2017).

Níall lives in London with his wife Mary and his children Iseult and Diarmaid.


Date: Tuesday, 26th January
Time: 17:30 – 20:00 IST
Venue: Online | Zoom


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