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Clare Richards

Clare Richards

London

Architect

Female

Founder of ft'work, a not-for-profit company with a strong ambition – to create thriving communities and to ensure that clear social principles underpin all new development. www.ftwork.co.uk

Recent activity

Comments (24)

  • Comment on: RIBA names all-female list of new honorary fellows

    Clare Richards's comment 10 December, 2019 7:08 pm

    Heartfelt congratulations to all five! This recognition is so richly deserved, given the individual and collective impact they are having on the built environment.

    But we should also applaud the RIBA for the extent to which they have recognised the talent and contribution of women this year: 4 out of the 4 President's Medals were awarded to women last week; The RIBA Gold Medal has been awarded to a practice co-founded and run by women; and now 5 out of 5 Honorary Fellowships.

    Ok, there's a lot of ground to make up, but this is great!

  • Comment on: Bartlett undergrad wins RIBA President’s Medal for world’s best student project

    Clare Richards's comment 4 December, 2019 11:18 am

    Congratulations to all the winners. I was really impressed by their projects and especially by the fact that all 4 medal winners this year (and 9 out 14 winners including commendations) were women.

    I’m really pleased that Dissertation Prize winner, Naomi Rubbra, is helping ft’work to set up a pilot of My Place, a practical initiative to involve children and young people in all stages of estate regeneration. Her dissertation is based on her own research into community engagement and well-being on the estate where she lives, and the lessons for architecture practice. So many of the medal winners’ projects this year have a clear social and environmental purpose, showing that talented architects of the future see the profession as a force for good.

    I’m delighted too that ft’work Trust has sponsored the RIBA to create a President’s Medals Archive. Remarkably, prize-winning projects accumulated in the RIBA collection since the first prize was awarded in 1836, have never been collated! From early next year all will be publicly accessible and also available online. Who knows, for instance, that Thomas Hardy won an essay prize?

  • Comment on: ‘It’s impossible not to feel collectively ashamed over “human warehouse” schemes’

    Clare Richards's comment 28 November, 2019 1:22 pm

    Good for Julia Park and Colin Kerr for the different stands they have taken. I couldn't agree more that we cannot collectively ignore what is being done under PDR. This is not really about the pros and cons of micro homes (I've just come back from Japan where there are some cleverly designed examples); nor is it just the architect's fault (although I tend to agree that we simply shouldn't do this type of work). The problem is much broader – the mute acceptance across the board, from commission, through conception to delivery, that people should live like this. Through the NPPF we are required to ‘achieve sustainable development’, with the three ‘objectives’ of ‘economic’, ‘social’ and ‘environmental’ sustainability carefully spelled out. There is nothing about the Alexandra House that could remotely be considered socially sustainable.

    Not read the ‘social objective’ of sustainability recently? Here it is (NPPF Clause 2.8):

    – ‘to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by ensuring that a sufficient number and range of homes can be provided to meet the needs of present and future generations; and by fostering a well-designed and safe built environment, with accessible services and open spaces that reflect current and future needs and support communities’ health, social and cultural well-being.’

    What’s not clear about that? It’s a great description for Goldsmith Street, though!

  • Comment on: High-rise flats: spruce them up or tear them down?

    Clare Richards's comment 24 October, 2019 2:20 pm

    The reasons for upgrading are social as well as environmental. When it comes to estate regeneration there’s still a knee-jerk presumption in favour of demolition and redevelopment. It’s not just that existing residents don’t get a look-in (which excludes the very people whose opinion could add most value), it’s the fact that demolition is hugely destructive of community. It causes widespread displacement and social division, flying in the face of the NPPF’s ‘social objective’, “to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities… that reflect current and future needs and support communities’ health, social and cultural well-being”.

    It’s there in the NPPF and in the draft new London Plan. But the policy lacks teeth and planners and developers don’t apply it.

  • Comment on: When refurbishing tower blocks, listen to the experts: the residents

    Clare Richards's comment 24 October, 2019 10:51 am

    Yes, and this should be a central plank of AJ’s RetroFirst Campaign.

    When it comes to estate regeneration there’s still a knee-jerk presumption in favour of demolition and redevelopment. It’s not just that existing residents don’t get a look-in (which, as Emily says, excludes the very people whose opinion could add most value), it’s the fact that demolition is hugely destructive of community. It causes widespread displacement and social division, flying in the face of the NPPF’s ‘social objective’, “to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities… that reflect current and future needs and support communities’ health, social and cultural well-being”.

    It’s there in the NPPF and in the existing and draft new London Plan. It’s just that planners and developers don’t apply it. We need to hold them to account!

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