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Victoria Thornton, Founding Director of Open-City has received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Years Honours list for services to architecture and architecture education. In 1992 Victoria created the first Open House London event, which over the past 20 years has become one of the most successful annual events in the architectural calendar, attracting over 250,000 visitors to over 700 of the capitals buildings and spawning Open House Worldwide, including Open House Dublin. Open-City as an organisation will also be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with an event filled itinerary taking place throughout 2012 highlighting the successes and current initiatives included in its three strands of work, public engagement (Open House London), education (Architecture in Schools) and advocacy (Green Sky Thinking and My City Too!). Victoria was previously awarded in 2003 an Honorary Fellowship from the RIBA also in recognition of her contribution to architecture and the education of future generations and is currently a board member of the Irish Architecture Foundation (2005 – present) and Architecture Centre Network (2006 – present). Victoria said: ‘This is great for the organisation as it shows the importance and worth of what we are doing especially in terms of educating future generations in the value of architecture and the role it plays in their everyday lives.’
Just before Christmas curator of Open House Dublin, the IAF’s annual architecture festival, Dr. Sandra O’Connell was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). RIBA President Angela Brady said: ‘Each of this year’s Honorary Fellows has made an enormous contribution to architecture, whether as a practitioner, designer, curator, writer or policy maker. The RIBA values everything that they have brought – in their very different ways – to the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the world of architecture. I look forward to presenting them with their Honorary Fellowships in February.’