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'Battle of the Gordons'for RIAS presidential title

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RIAS councillors are next week set to vote on the new president of the incorporation - in a lowerkey version of the controversial and often highly personal election campaign happening south of the border.

The RIAS' 40-strong council - rather than the entire membership, as with the RIBA - will elect the new president in the 'battle of the Gordons' - Gordon Davies of Davies, Nimmo & Stevens and Gordon Murray from Gordon Murray + Alan Dunlop Architects - on 31 January.

Gordon Davies is convenor of the RIAS' public affairs board and a former editor of Prospect magazine. He was chief architect and planning officer of Livingston Development Corporation from 19821996. Davies believes that architects' influence is declining and that politicians need to be convinced of the close relationship between design and quality. 'Quality in the design process is essential if quality in the end result is to be achieved, ' he said.

Gordon Murray, whose career has included spells at Sinclair & Watt Architects, Cunningham Glass Partnership and Glass Murray Architects, is vice convenor of the same public affairs group and was president of the Glasgow Institute of Architects from 1998-2000. He believes that with the imminent publication of An Architecture Policy for Scotland it is an 'exciting time for architecture' but that the incorporation's 'creative leadership position has been eroded'. He aims to encourage promotion of architecture as a wider cultural activity and foster a network of local architecture centres.

The new president's term will run from May 2001 to May 2003.

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