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A good president? The profession on Angela Brady

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As Angela Brady leaves her post as RIBA president architects reflect on her impact on the profession

Yasmin Shariff, national councillor
‘Brady worked really hard to give the RIBA a high profile nationally at the Olympics and internationally in China. Her frustrations with Portland Place did not come out in public and she gave the RIBA a positive profile with the general media.’

Piers Taylor, Invisible Studio
‘I haven’t got the faintest idea what she did as RIBA president. I’m not sure that’s her fault. More, it throws into relief the increasing irrelevance of the RIBA – a bunch of conservative practitioners twiddling at the edges of an inconsequential, enervated, devitalised and antediluvian institution more concerned with its own vacuous actuality than providing a useful framework for architecture or contributing usefully to any debate on practice or education.’

Alistair Barr, Barr Gazetas
‘We’re a practice with 50 per cent female architects and we all voted for Brady, who brilliantly fulfilled her promise to champion architects. Her presidency reinforced her mantra that “women and men together make the best architecture”. Now we should acknowledge that being president is a full-time job and pay all future incumbents a proper salary.’

Simon Gill, Simon Gill Architects
‘There have been good initiatives under her presidency – for example the Homewise campaign – but it will always be a problem that the two-year tenure is too short to really see many things through, particularly given the kind of rottweiler-like tenacity it takes to make any kind of impression on government policy.’

Maggie Mullan, Austin:Smith-Lord
‘Our feeling from the provinces is: “Who is Angela Brady?” She may have performed well in her own manor, but we didn’t feel the warmth and direction of leadership from Portland Place during her term. That’s why as a practice we have backed and personally endorsed Stephen Hodder for president. It is about time Portland Place had a reality check about the situation its members outside the M25 find themselves in.’

Steven Harding, former RIBA head of public affairs

‘When Brady took over the institute was quite introspective. Her strength as a communicator has been to make it much more outward-facing and make it more of a campaigning body. She has done what she said she would do.’

Markus Jatsch, Markus Jatsch Partners
‘Brady did a good job in promoting the RIBA internationally and creating connections in other countries. This is a good basis for UK practices to get more work abroad and make new client connections.’

Alex Mowat, Urban Salon
‘The best achievement in this presidency might turn out to be the campaign against exploiting architecture students as unpaid interns. In a world where further education is increasingly expensive, we should strive for fair treatment for people training as architects or simply studying the discipline. It is a campaign RIBA needs to keep promoting.’


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