Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Trinity College Dublin
Website URL,
Construction history, history of architecture, history of science, history of technology, architectural acoustics
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian of architecture, science, and construction. I specialise in the history of building science (primarily acoustics). I am presently a Research Fellow in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin.  From 2015-2017, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.

My current book project, funded by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship from the European Commission, focuses on architectural acoustics in early twentieth-century Britain.

A second monograph, made possible by a Charlemont Scholarship from the Royal Irish Academy and a Research Grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art is also underway. This project is a biography of Hope Bagenal, finally reaching fruition after roughly ten years of research.

Awards: Hawksmoor Medal, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

Charlemont Scholar, Royal Irish Academy

Newman Medal for Architectural Acoustics, Acoustical Society of America

Stanley Smith Prize for Construction History by the Construction History Society.


Recent Publications

Smyth, F. (2018) “Symphony for Full Orchestra and Asbestos…”: Tuning Albert Hall during WWII in   Campbell, J., et al (Eds.) Studies in the History of Services and Construction, Cambridge: Construction History Society, pp. 185-94.

Smyth, F. (2017) ‘Notes on Adolf Loos’ in: T60 or The Mystery of Acoustics first steps towards a theater of sound in 12 scenes for piano, live electronics & voices, MIT Music and Theater Arts 

Smyth, F. (2016) ‘Fine-tuning and Demolition: The First Acoustics Laboratory at Britain’s Building Research Station’ in Campbell, J., et al (Eds.) Further Studies in the History of Construction, Cambridge: Construction History Society, pp. 371-380.

Smyth, F. (2015) ‘A Legacy in Letters’ in Acoustics (Journal of the Institute of Acoustics), 40, 2, March/April 2015, pp 26-29.

Smyth, F. (2014) ‘More than a Machine for Living In: Science, Noise and Experimental Housing’ in Journal of Construction History. vol. 29, 2, pp. 103-120.

Smyth, F. (2014) ‘A Centenary of Architectural Acoustics: Hope Bagenal and Wallace Clement Sabine.’ in Proc. of Institute of Acoustics, vol 36, London: IOA. 

Smyth, F. (2014) ‘Acoustic Design in the 1930s: Robinson and Keefe’s Church of Corpus Christi, Dublin’ in Campbell, J. (Ed.) Construction History, Cambridge, pp. 377-390.

Smyth, F. (2013) ‘Scales of Interaction in Architecture and Music’ in Fontana-Giusti, G., Adler, G. & Brittain-Caitlin, T. (Eds.) Scale. London and New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

Kearney, G. Gorzel, M., Smyth, F., Lennon, D., Boland, F., and Rice, H. (2011) ‘Real-Time Walkthrough Auralisation of the Acoustics of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin’ in Proc. of Institute of Acoustics, vol 33, London: IOA, pp. 244-258.  

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
British Isles, England, United Kingdom
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Science, Technology, World War I, World War II