Researchers at UCD


Victoria Kavanagh

Associate Lecturer

School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy
3 Ormeau Street
Dublin 4

Tel: (01)6674766


Victoria Kavanagh is an architect and teacher of landscape architectural design who believes good design can elevate consciousness.  From the U.S., she studied architecture at VPI&SU.  She has worked in Washington DC, and in private practice in Los Angeles and Honolulu. She also worked in Berlin, before coming to Dublin in 1995.   A member of the RIAI, Victoria is a director of MVK architects and teaches design in Landscape Architecture at UCD.

Her professional interests are broad and general, tending toward innovation and sustainability. With regard to the specific areas of critical importance identified by UCD, my interests are parallel in the following ways:

·    Conservation ¿ conservation architecture, refurbishment, conversion

·   Landscape Architecture ¿ design, SUDS, topography, urban design, urban ecosystems, environmentalism, natural systems, feedback forms in topography.

·    Parametric Design ¿ BIM, Java, parameter/constraint strategies and heirarchies

·  Representation/ Visualisation ¿ hand drawing & CAD, diagramming, graphic communication, type design, Photoshop, model building, sculpture and painting

·    Sustainable Building ¿ passive house, thermal modelling, green roof, SUDS, low embodied energy materials, bio-mimicry, vernacular studies

·    Urban Design and Housing ¿ urban density, walk-able communities, public space design, housing retrofit, the search for an innovative urban housing typology which affords biodiversity and localization and integration of human/natural eco-systems.




Association: RIAI, Function/Role: Member

Conference Contributions

Anna Bulanda-Pantalacci, Daniel Sluse, Andre Dellaleau and Jerome Mayer, Pierre Henrion, Philippe Delaitte and Natalia Krawczyk. (2012) Collage, Identy, Souvenir - Juxtoposition, Ideation, to Artifact: a process toward creative expression. [Invited Oral Presentation], European Forum of History and Arts, Liege, Belgium , 04-APR-12 - 04-APR-12.
Victoria Kavanagh (2015) [Invited Lecture], AIARG, NCAD, Dublin, Ireland , 31-JAN-15 - 31-JAN-15.
Victoria Kavanagh (2016) Adaptive Re-use of Irish Demense landscapes in transition. [Poster Presentation], Alter-rurality, Letterfrack, Ireland , 06-JUN-16 - 09-JUN-16.


Committee : UCD College of Engineering And Architecture - CMC
Committee : Board of Management - John Scottus School


Employer: Arthur Erickson Architects, Los Angeles
Position: Architect
Employer: Larson Young Design Studio
Position: Architect and Practitioner
Employer: O'Briain O'Donnell Architects
Position: Architect
Employer: Cologne Art Investments, Ltd.
Position: Director
Employer: Mueller Reimen Architekten
Position: Architect
Employer: UCD
Position: Part-time Lecturer
Employer: MVK Architects
Position: Director


Year 2012 Institution: IACT
Qualification: Certificate Subject: Java Programming
Year 2013 Institution: DIT
Qualification: Post Graduate Diploma Subject: Thermal Bridge Assessment
Year 2002 Institution: UCD
Qualification: Certificate Subject: Architectural Professional Practice
Year 1986 Institution: Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University USA VaTech
Qualification: BArch Subject:



Outreach Activities

National Disability Authority (NDA), Universal Design Workshop  Leader, 10 person team                    Nov, 2009

Clay Modelling for beginners. Art in Action Festival                                  2002-2011

Pivot Dublin, Innovation Design Workshop Participant,                            2011

Transition Year Architecture Week, John Scottus Senior School                                2012 - 2014
6th Class  Roman Villa model making workshop, JSS                                          2016


Other Activities

Copy editing for architectural monograph - "Thomas Mueller Ivan Reimann Architekten"  2016



Book Reviews

Patti O'Neill (2008) RIAI Journal. Dublin: Book Reviews [Details]


Research Interests

Architects create new forms, processes and artifacts. They examine the physical and cultural parameters, define the problems to be solved, and design solutions.  These solutions often produce innovative objects and processes.

In some cases, these solutions could be repeated and or shared to the benefit of the community, but are often left behind as a single instance of a bespoke commission.

I'm interested in studying how the objects and defined processes produced for architectural projects can be prototyped, transferred and disseminated.

Intellectual property (IP) issues are often the bottle-neck of innovation ¿ The legal protection of intellectual property is intended to provide incentive to share ideas, however  designers who are unfamiliar  with Design Rights and Patent Applications, may decide that the process to too onerous undertake or expensive. I will study ¿Design Rights¿ of the Architects¿ contribution, in order to explore how the architect can participate in prototyping and production without changing his role into manufacturer or businessman and consider the implications of the current trend toward open source.

The research will also be an exploration of the interface between architects with builders, craftsmen and manufacturers -  through the study of innovative objects made as a part of architectural craft and commissioned designs, and will examine the various methods of bringing these objects to market.
Additional interest: The adaptive re-use of the historic Irish demesne landscapes 



Teaching Philosophy

Endeavor to reveal to the student, their own powers of reasoning and innate value systems, by working through the architectural design process.

Modules Coordinated

201600   LARC30150     Landscape Architecture: Landscape Studio 3 A

Developing as a Teacher

Having taught as a professional tutor for a number of years, I took a position as a part-time assistant professor in 2014. At that stage I began expanded duties as a module coordinator for landscape architecture design studio and lecturer in LARC and architecture. I attended courses on research methods in the planning department and began a research project. These activities have enhanced my abilities to impart to my students a more explicit understanding of the research they themselves are undertaking in the course of carrying out their design projects. Encouraged by the evidence of better student outcomes as a result of clearer academic objectives, I took the Teaching & Learning module, 'Embedding research in teaching and learning', taught by Dr. Terry Barrett, offered to UCD staff in Sept. 2016. The content of this module has allowed me to further improve the structure of the module, weaving the research, the objectives, practical skills instruction and assessments into a programme which is coherent to the students and supports their endeavors.