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Ruairi O’Brien. Architecture. Light. Spatial Design. is a design studio reknowned for their innovative high quality individual solutions in architecture, lighting and spatial design. The office takes pride in guiding complex interdiscipliary projects from the first idea through to full on site supervision. Ruairí O’Brien’s philosophy and personal hands on approach to architecture and the design process guarantees the client and the user a unique building, object or space of the highest quality.

With his design studio Ruairí O’Brien has executed a large and diverse portfolio of projects which include urban design projects, market squares, innovative and custom-built street lighting, public and private buildings, hospitals, schools, residential buildings, museums, memorials, exhibitions and interiors.

O’Brien recently completed an “architectural design guide” and lighting masterplan for the city area of Lichtenrade in Berlin and is currently working on the new lighting concept for the airport of Dresden in Germany.

Prominent examples of O’Briens work are:
The “Hologram Facade” situated on the main market square of the famous “Glass and Optic” city of Jena, Germany. The mobile interactive micromuseum for the famous German writer Erich Kaestner in Dresden, Germany. The walk in glass vitrine war memorial in Zeithain, Saxony, Germany. The “Lighting story board wall” war memorial dedicated to the famous American anti-war autor Kurt Vonnegut in Dresden, Germany. The unique lighting masts for the Market square of Freiberg, Saxony, Germany. 


O’Brien’s teaching contracts gained him international teaching experience at universities in Germany, Czech Republic, Russia and Syria. During his time as a visiting professor at the University of Wismar in Germany (2001-2005) O’Brien helped initiate the international master’s course in Architectural Lighting Design and was responsible for the programs design studios.

O’Brien has given lectures, supervised workshops and organized exhibitions on architecture and lighting design in Japan, the Netherlands, Greece, England, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Italy, Latvia and in the USA. He has also worked on theatre and dance projects, created a series of sculptures, installations and performances with light and exhibited his drawings, light sculptures and paintings in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Chemnitz and Dresden. O’Brien studied architecture in London at the University of Greenwich and at the University of Edinburgh. During his time at Edinburgh he received a “Visiting Scholarship” to Columbia University in New York.

Ruairi O’Brien is presently an associate professor for Architecture and Visual Design at the German University  in Cairo where he teaches design studios, theory of architecture and lighting design. O’Brien is also a member of the faculty’s accreditation and curriculum committee.

O’Brien’s research interests are an extension of the topics he has developed as a practicing architect with an interdisciplinary approach to art, design and building:

Building for the future, Lighting and the built environment. The development of old and new towns. The architecture of museums. Memory and heritage. Drawing as architectural theory and communication. The art in architecture. The effect of digitalization on architecture and society.