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Interview Learning

Meet the Graduate Panel: Cormac Dockry


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 Cormac Dockry of SDA Architects.


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

Since February, I’ve returned to work in a family run practice, SDA Architects in Galway, to pursue a project of particular interest. I’m heavily involved in the research into rammed earth construction for a building that doesn’t just sit delicately in its landscape but rather is built from it and is part of its environment. Alongside this I’m working on a variety of projects from residential to commercial and public spaces, all of which are furthering my experience in the built environment. I’ve also been fortunate enough to get the opportunity to return to TUD on a couple of occasions as a Guest Lecturer.


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

Growing up I’ve always been surrounded by conversations in and about architecture. I’ve known for a long time that it was something I wanted to be involved in. The primary motivation for my personal work is in the behaviour of living systems within an urban setting, which has led me to write about how the reuse of demolition and construction could be repurposed in architecture to provide for the nonhuman. It’s research I’m determined to continue and develop. Someday, I hope I can bring my ideas into practice.


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

Throughout the years, I’ve witnessed the work that the IAF has done on a variety of scales for architecture in Ireland. I knew it could only be a privilege to be part of such a group. I expect to build connections and relationships with people who have a keen and honest interest in a discussion about our role as future architects. It’s great that graduates in architecture have been given the opportunity to have a voice.


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

I don’t think there’s any one answer to this question for me. I’d like to further my education from an academic perspective and bring this experience into the built environment. I’m particularly interested in architecture that encourages a more ecological culture and society and in design that accommodates a more equal status amongst all forms of life. But aside from my personal interest, I want to develop my portfolio on a diverse range of projects. The greater the variety of work I can learn from, the more I’ll learn about where my skills lie.


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

If I’m to pick one building that has caught my attention lately, it would be Middleton Park Lodge by TAKA Architects. Subtle in the context of a protected structure, the architecture is a beautiful example of how ecologically aware design can benefit its landscape while providing exceptional spaces for the human. It allows the history of the site to be told while expressing a new contemporary language.