Sean Gallagher

Associate Principal at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York

Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design, Columbia University (2005)
Bachelor of Architecture, UNC Charlotte (2000)
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, UNC Charlotte (1999)

Hometown: Vernon, New Jersey 

Sean Gallagher is an Associate Principal and the Director of Sustainable Design at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, a 115-person interdisciplinary design studio that integrates architecture, the performing arts, and the visual arts. For more than 15 years, Sean’s research has focused on re-evaluating the traditional relationships between public and industrial territories within urban and suburban environments to accommodate and sustain an increased level of demand for social space and industrial services.

His projects include the United States Olympic Museum, United States Massena Land Port of Entry, China's South Sea Pearl Eco-Island, Google's New York City Urban Ecology Pier, Columbia University's Business School Towers, and Chicago's Rubenstein Forum. He has presented his work in national and international exhibitions including keynote lectures at AIA's “United States Goals for LPOE: Design Excellence, Sustainability, Security and Transit” and Green Building Council's “Buildgreen Argentina + Expo 2014 International Conference." Sean is currently Adjunct Faculty at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture. He is also a board member for the Embankment Coalition, an organization that will turn Jersey City's downtown abandoned Pennsylvania raised rail into a public park and wildlife refuge.

Sean's years in the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture taught him "the art of critical thinking and the craft of making," he says. "It established a drive within me to communicate the social and material values of the places I intervene." He looks back at the rigor of the program with affection: "In the days leading up to a midterm or final review, we would stay up all night pushing each other to create the most beautiful and meaningful proposals. Those nights were filled with an intense mixture of anxiety and joy, where we learned to find inspiration and support in each other. I still look to those moments today for a laugh or drive."        

Sean’s work has been widely published and recognized with a range of significant awards from the American Institute of Architects, US Federal Government, and the Academic community.

In the midst of his many accomplishments and experiences, Sean singles out the School of Architecture: "There is a strength in the combination of community and facility here that I have yet to experience elsewhere. The culture establishes a learning environment where you have the freedom to find your own voice and the resources to support your curiosity." 

Sean was named the 2015 Distinguished Alumnus in the School of Architecture, the first alum to receive the honor.