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ARB elections: Brady backs Stephen Lawrence Trust candidates

RIBA president Angela Brady has come out in public support of two ethnic minority candidates endorsed by the Stephen Lawrence trust for election to ARB’s board

Her decision to ‘personally endorse’ Lisa Basu and Kirk Ray Morrison follows earlier controversy over Portland Place’s unprecedented move to officially back four candidates in the race.

It is understood the candidates – the only ethnic minority candidates campaigning to join the board which currently has no black or Asian members – have Brady’s ‘personal support’ only not that of the institute.

The RIBA’s four main runners – John Assael, Alan Cook, Roger Shrimplin and Susan Ware – were formally approved by the institute’s practice and profession committee having signed up to a shared manifesto calling for a ‘minimalist’ ARB.

A Portland Place spokesperson explained: ‘The Stephen Lawrence Trust approached Angela Brady for her personal backing of their nominated ARB candidates after the RIBA had formally endorsed its four candidates.

‘Angela is dedicated to promoting and championing diversity in architecture, she was happy to offer all the personal support she could.’

Basu and Morrison were helped to become architects by the Deptford-based charity, which was set up in memory of murdered teenager and aspiring architect Stephen Lawrence to give disadvantaged young people access to the profession.

Stephen’s mother, Doreen Lawrence said she was ‘extremely proud’ of both candidates for standing in the elections.

She said: ‘Supporting diversity in architecture and enabling the creation of a level playing field is critically important, not just for architects, but also for their clients and the wider community – including young people thinking about architecture as a future career.

‘I’m proud to have played a role in supporting Kirk and Lisa to become architects through the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust bursary scheme.

‘Both candidates offer unique insights and value to the profession and I will continue to support them through the work of the Trust as their careers progress.’

The ARB election polling deadline is 12pm on 1 March and the succesful candidates will be announced on 10 March or soon after.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I am not at all sure at the RIBA selectively supporting individual candidates for the ARB elections but I am more concerned with this continuing myth promoted by those that want to reduce ARB's role - some destroy it - that ARB was set up by Parliament as a "mimimalist" organisation compared with its predecessor ARCUK. The opposte is the case. I was the RIBA President reposnsible for steering the Architects Act through Parliament in 1995-7. The objective was to reduce the size of the ACUK Council from 64 to 15 and to remove the 60 strong Board of Architectural education completely.
    Boards were comprised of representives of a wide number of other organisations some of whom were not over friendly to architects and our protection of title. The effect of that was to give back to the profession control of educaton shared by RIBA and ARB. We had to concede a lay majority on ARB in return for continuation of protection of title. It is overloked that vthe Conservative government atv the time had decided to abolsh ACUK and protection of title and we were only saved by the intervention of the Consumer lobby who saw continuation of protection of title as a protection for clients - particularly the smaller clients - which is why ARB was never intended to be "minimalist" and its responsibilities for regulating "incompetence" as well as professional conduct required it to be a larger and far more effective in regulating conduct than its predecessor ARCUK. ARB may not be perfect and the RIBA needs to ensure it does not go beyond its statutory role and itis fair to architects as well as cients but those who attack it and its role are playing with fire if ARB were to be abolished the baby would go out with the bath water and we would lose protection of title. That would be distasterous for architectural education - who would study for 4 or 5 years to quaify as an architect if anyone could call themselves architects without any qualification or training. Also be disasterous for the RIBA reducing it to no more than a rump as an little more than an academic institution. The RIBA should be supporting those candidates whose policy is to work closely with ARB not destro or disassemble it.
    Owen Luder CBE PPRIBA

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