One of the most rewarding parts of my role as riba President is looking at the work of the architects of tomorrow. The President's Medals provide an excellent opportunity to see a showcase of the best of this work, from students all over the world.
The best of this year's entries are excellent. There were nearly 150 entries from 10 countries covering every continent in the globe, with diverse concerns and approaches. From environmentally friendly housing to technologically advanced transportation systems, all the entries demonstrated a huge amount of imagination in tackling the complex environment in which we live. The schemes not only show that today's students are well informed about the issues facing sustainable living in the new millennium, but also the fact that they are ably equipped to tackle them.
The work will reach out to the general public, who have a chance to view all the project entries in detail at www.riba.net/talent. On-line voting is again taking place and is proving extremely popular, with over 10,000 votes recorded to date.
Architects have a duty beyond the daily round of consultation and individual projects to participate in the human debate, to bring their vision, their energy, their flair and their intuition to work for mankind. The profession does not deserve to survive unless it does. The planet will not survive if it does not. Those in full-time education have a golden opportunity to think in detail about the potential for responsible design, and we will be working in the future to make riba-recognised schools powerhouses for research and development of sustainable solutions. The ideas presented so vividly by these young people are an indication that we are intelligent enough to repair the damage already done.