Take 400 architecture students from more than 40 countries. Throw them together in a hothouse atmosphere for 14 days of talks, lectures, walking tours and workshops in Dublin and Connemara. What you get is the European Architecture Students Assembly (EASA), convening for the first time in Ireland this weekend. EASA was set up in 1981 by a ginger group led by colourful Edinburgh-based architect Richard Murphy and held its first gathering in Liverpool during a bitter and prolonged docks strike. Part of the motivation behind it was to connect architecture students with the real world of conflict and social deprivation. This year, the theme is “adaptation”, and its focus will be on the dramatic changes in Irish society over the last 20 years – starting with a discussion on “Dublin’s metamorphosis”, with contributions from artist Robert Ballagh, Green Party TD Ciarán Cuffe and Dr Gary Boyd, UCC’s first professor of architecture. The assembly will be officially opened in the sumptuous State Apartments in Dublin Castle on Sunday by Seán Ó Laoire, president of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. Also on show will be the shortlisted entries by students for an international design competition. The winning proposal, WYSIWYG by Anders Malmberg and Gustav Backstrom of Sweden, is to be developed into a workshop to build a mobile, demountable educational pavilion at the GMIT Furniture College in Letterfrack to educate primary school students on renewable energy and sustainable architecture.