Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Harry Rich: ‘I want us to become the L'Oreal profession’

  • Comment

RIBA chief executive Harry Rich at this morning’s AJ100 Breakfast Club told architects from the UK’s largest practices why they need a new mantra

Speaking at London’s Claridge’s Hotel, Rich said: ‘I want us to become the L’Oreal profession’ quoting the brands’ ‘because I’m worth it’ slogan.

Clients often overlook the value of architects, according to Rich, who singled out project management and sustainability as areas of particular concern.

‘I have a terror around sustainability and its down from experience. [Project managers] didn’t steal [project management] we gave it to them. It’s about practices being able to think about these things as part of the business.

‘That’s history and I don’t know if we can get [project management] back, but I think we might be about to do the same thing with sustainability.’

 He went on to suggest in ten years time his successor might ask how sustainability consultants ‘stole our business,’ emphasising why architects have the skills, responsibility and commercial motivations to take a lead role in the field.

‘We’ve got to try to help save the world, do great work and make money doing it,’ he said.

Rich went on to again float the idea of introducing a new award which he said could look at the success of a building 10 or 15 years after completion.

He said the public conception of awards like the Stirling Prize being ‘beauty parades’ was a problem.  ‘I’m looking at ways we can adapt and add to the awards and make it more likely they can stimulate interest in the building as a whole thing.’

In response to recommendations in the Browne Review that government should allow universities to charge higher fees, he said: ‘Clearly architecture up until now, even without [unlimited] fees, has been expensive and it tends in general to make a very particular kind of profession, and it’s not easy for people from certain backgrounds.

‘These proposals could make that even more exaggerated but we will be doing what we can to try to preserve the position as much as best we can to stop the profession becoming too closed.’

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs