Research Profile

Cathy Dalton


PhD in Architecture, UCC, June 2014.

Doctoral thesis: MyRoom: A Model of Affective Responsive Architecture
Supervisors: Dr. James Harrison (CCAE), Professor Kevin McCartney, (CCAE).

PhD funded by scholarship and bursary from the HEA-funded NEMBES project, and inter-institutional interdisciplinary research initiative, investigating network embedded wireless systems.

Research interests:
User-centred design, HCI in built environment, responsive environments, affective computing/affective environments, design and health, Universal and Inclusive Design, aesthetics. 

Professional and research interest in the potential of architecture to function therapeutically, and the psychological and physical effects of built environment on occupants. 

Session Chair, first International Conference on Smart Design, Nottingham Trent University 2011.
PhD Symposium participant, Pervasive Health 2011, Dublin.
UCC Doctoral Showcase Finalist, 2011.
Part of winning team, People's Choice Award, for CEUD/Helen Hamlyn Instiute 24-hour Universal Design Challenge, 2010.
PhD Masterclass participant, ISG2010, Vancouver.

Principal of Dalton & O'Donnell Architects, 1993-2010

Design portfolio includes projects for the National Disability Authority, HSE, Kilkenny and South Tipperary Mental Health Associations, National Rehabilitation Board, OPW, in addition to corporate and private clients. Projects selected for exhibition in Irish Architecture Awards 1995, 2002, 1993.

B Arch.,  UCD, 1988.

Former Treasurer of Institute for Design and Disability, a member organisation of EIDD, now Design for All Europe.

Research Interests

Research and development of response assistive environments which involve consideration of user affect, as a measure of usability, and in the creation of physically embedded bio-feedback loops, as an enhancement of the capacity  of architecture to function therapeutically.

Psychological and physical effects of built environment on occupants, in particular in buildings for users in healthcare settings, ranging fro acute hospital servings to residential and supported living-accommodation for clients with special needs, and elderly people with dementia in particular. 

The PhD thesis proposed a theoretical model for an affective responsive personal environment, where environmental response is generated from processing bio-signals indicative of psychological affect, integrated with response which addresses functional needs.



Book Chapters

(2014)'Including Smart Architecture in Environments for People with Dementia'
Dalton. C. (2014) 'Including Smart Architecture in Environments for People with Dementia' In: Joost van Hoof, George Demiris, Eveline J.M. Wouters (eds). Handbook of Smart Homes, Healthcare and Well-being. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.   [Details]
(2012)'Conceptualisation of an Intelligent Salutogenic Room Environment'
Dalton, Catherine, Harrison, J.D. (2012) 'Conceptualisation of an Intelligent Salutogenic Room Environment' In: Smart Design. London: Springer-Verlag.   [DOI] [Details]

Conference Publications

(2013)ICUBE2013, IIUM Malaysia
Harrison, J and Dalton C (2013) The Familiar and the Strange: The Limits of Universal Design in the European Context” ICUBE2013, IIUM Malaysia [Details]
(2011)Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth), 2011 5th International Conference on
Dalton, C., McCartney, K. (2011) Salutogenesis: A new paradigm for pervasive computing in healthcare environments? Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth), 2011 5th International Conference on Dublin, Ireland, , 23-MAY-11 - 26-APR-11 , pp.188-191   [Details]
(2011)Adaptive Architecture Conference, 1st International
Dalton, C., Harrison, J.D. (2011) Designing an adaptive salutogenic care environment Adaptive Architecture Conference, 1st International , 03-MAR-11 - 05-MAR-12 [Details]
(2011)ENHSA and EAAE International Conference - Rethinking the Human in Technology-Driven Architecture
Harrison. J.D., Dalton, C. (2011) Learning to imagine the invisible: Using new technologies to enhance user-friendly architecture . In: Maria Voyatzaki, Constantin Spiridonidis eds. ENHSA and EAAE International Conference - Rethinking the Human in Technology-Driven Architecture Technical University of Crete, Chania, Crete, , pp.671-682   [Details]
(2010)Gerontechnology 2010
Dalton, C and Harrison J D (2010) MyRoom: A model for an intelligent salutogenic room prototype for an elderly user Gerontechnology 2010 Vancouver, [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
1993RIAI Regional Awards RIAI
1995RIAI Regional Awards RIAI
2003Irish Architecture Awards/RIAI Regional Awards RIAI

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
RIAI Professional body for architects in Ireland/

Conference Contributions

(2009)ISG 2010,
Cathy Dalton, JD Harrison (2009) Poster presentation to PhD Masterclass. [Poster Presentation], ISG 2010, Vancouver, BC, Canada , 27-MAY-09 - 30-MAY-09. [Details]


 EmployerPositionFrom / To
Dalton + O'Donnell Architects Principal/Director01-SEP-93 / 23-MAR-11


HSE South, Cork
Paper exercise for future planning of St. Patrick's Community Hospital, Fermoy, Co. Cork, to meet compliance with HIQA standards.

Other Activities


Session chair, First International Conference on Smart Design, November 2011, Nottingham, UK.
Finalist, 10-minute thesis category, UCC Doctoral Showcase 2011.

Seminar presentations for Institute of Design and Disability in Ireland and Athens, 1996-7. 

Former External Examiner, 1998-2000, Limerick Senior College Interior Design course. 

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

Tutor for final year History & Theory dissertations.

2010-2014 Lecturing in Management and Professional Practice.

Visiting critic, WIT School of Architecture. 

External Examiner Limerick Senior College Interior Design, 1998-2000. 

Contact details

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University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF