Sign up to our newsletter

Find about what we're up to with regular updates
sign up now!

Interview Learning

Meet the Graduate Panel: Caoimhe Power


Established in 2021, the IAF Graduate Panel offers a discursive and collaborative space to share ideas and an opportunity to link with the IAF’s core programme. We’d like to introduce you to our panelists over a series of interviews.

Meet Caoimhe Power, Architectural Assistant at Hawkins\Brown.

Caoimhe is an architectural assistant whose interest lies in how architecture can be used to solve problems beyond those relevant to architects themselves. She graduated from the School of Architecture and Built Environment, TU Dublin in 2023. Having previously worked in practices based in Waterford and Kilkenny, she now works with Hawkins\Brown at their Dublin studio.


Tell us about the work you’re currently involved in.

I recently completed my Masters of Architecture at TU Dublin, where I explored the plural agencies embedded within the role of the architect when mediating the realms of architecture, design, and community. In collaboration with the community of Mulranny in Co. Mayo, my project sought to equip and empower the community with the information and elective participatory design tools required to initiate a community energy co-operative on their landscape. The project aimed to give the energy transition a visual presence within the community whilst establishing the role of the architect as facilitator of engagement, deliberation, and participatory co-operation. Now, I work with Hawkins\Brown as an Architectural Assistant, allowing me to continue to explore the role of the architect whilst gaining experience on a multitude of projects of varying scales and typologies.


What drew you to a career in architecture? What are your aspirations?

I decided from a young age that I wanted to be an architect and I never looked back! In school I enjoyed History, Art and Geography, and I knew I wanted to pick a career where these interests could merge and influence one another. My current aspiration is to continue my exploration of the role of the architect whilst working in practice with Hawkins\Brown and to continue to develop my collaborative and co-operative interests within community settings.


Why did you decide to join the IAF Graduate Panel? What are your expectations?

I joined the IAF Graduate Panel during my Masters studies. After being in university for five years I felt there was a certain lack of collegial contact between students and graduates of architecture in Ireland. I wanted to see how other students and graduates were thinking, designing and researching, and the IAF graduate panel was the perfect opportunity to do so. Going forward, I expect that the panel could further enhance the voice and work of architectural graduates. This is already being realised by the work of Róisín Cahill and Jessica Keller in their coordination of Project Unbuilt.


What area of architectural practice are you most interested in and hoping to further develop your career in?

I am most interested in how architecture can make a valuable contribution to society and the different ways communities can benefit from architecture and placemaking. My first step in further developing my career in this direction was attaining a position at a practice that shares these values and aspirations. When I eventually become a registered Architect, I want to ensure that the work I do makes people’s lives better and I hope to learn how good design can achieve this through my work with Hawkins\Brown.


Tell us about your favourite contemporary Irish building, or contemporary building designed by Irish architects.

If I were to choose, I would say that VISUAL & the George Bernard Shaw Theatre by Terry Pawson Architects is a contemporary Irish building that would resonate with me most. It shows how a Centre for contemporary art can rejuvenate a town – engaging the local people with architecture whilst embedding itself as a piece architectural and cultural heritage. I remember when I visited the building for the first time I was struck by the tranquil procession through the volumes – a lesson in spatial sequence, with areas of spatial transition defined by the deeply coffered concrete ceilings. Every town deserves a space like this!