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Ruth Reed becomes first female RIBA President

The academic today becomes the 73rd RIBA President, succeeding Sunand Prasad in the two-year elected presidency

Speaking for the first time as President, Reed said: ‘There is no doubt that the state of the architectural profession today is very different to that of two years ago; the economic recession has affected each and every practice and practitioner regardless of their size or geographic location.

‘One of my key priorities as RIBA President is to ensure that the Institute continues to fully support and promote the profession, and work through this difficult time. I will be working with members across the country on sharing best practice, in order that we retain our world-class profession and emerge stronger to meet the challenges of the new economic climate.’

A partner of planning consultancy Green Planning Solutions and course director and design tutor at the Birmingham School of Architecture, Reed has worked for a national house builder, for a large commercial practice and for a housing association. In 1992, Reed set up her own architecture practice in Wales and in 1997 she designed and constructed her own house.

She added: ‘In becoming the first female president of the RIBA, I am proud to be part of a change within the profession to recognise and encourage the skills and careers of women in the sector; I hope that by example I will encourage more women to remain in architecture. The profession as a whole needs to widen its membership to include architects from all social, racial and economic backgrounds to represent the diverse nature of our society.’

Reed has been involved in the teaching of architecture since 1993, and has served the profession as President of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales (2003-2005) and as RIBA Vice President of Membership (2005-2007). Reed is credited with driving through a new regional network structure which has become a cohesive force for the devolved delivery of RIBA policy; and was responsible for the successful introduction of a new scheme of assessed professional and life-long learning.

Reed’s election manifesto promised greater member engagement; she will be embarking on a programme of visits to the UK nations and regions, and has confirmed visits to the London, Yorkshire and West Midlands. Reed also aims to develop even closer links with schools of architecture and with student societies.

Read the AJ’s interview with Ruth Reed

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