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Fifth contender joins RIBA presidential race as candidates publish manifestos

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Nottingham-based architect and broadcaster Valeria Passetti has become the fifth contender to join the race to become the next RIBA president

She will stand alongside Nick Moss of Manchester-based Sixtwo Architects joined Glasgow’s Jude Barber of Collective Architecture, architect, academic and author Sumita Singha and AHMM’s Simon Allford in the forthcoming RIBA presidential elections.

The news comes as the five confirmed contenders release their official election manifestos and videos.

Passetti, 54, said she wants to decentralised RIBA resources, improve digital access and content as well as regional, national and and international networks, and make the creating ’different routes into the profession to make it more inclusive, affordable, diverse and accessible for lower income candidates, women and ethnic minorities’.

AHMM co-founder Allford, 58, said he wanted to create an ’agile and open model 21st century professional body’ able to tackle global climate change, health, poverty, education and architecture’s pivotal role in a post-pandemic society. He said the institute need to become ‘leaner’ and more focused, with its Portland Place headquarters becoming a ‘fun palace for architects, and anyone who is interested in architecture’. 

Barber, 47, has launched a three-strand manifesto under the headings: new models with social purpose; unity and urgency; and climate action. She says: ’To face the challenges and opportunities ahead we must harness our collective skills, abilities and voices from every corner of the country, and beyond, to positively support and influence. The RIBA should be a dynamic federation of architects.’

Moss, 42, is standing on a single issue – procurement reform – which he says is the ’elephant in the room which underpins everything’.

He told the AJ: ‘I aim to use the resources of the RIBA to drive procurement reform to make sure we do. If we don’t reform procurement, we’re marginalised.’

Singha, 55, said she wanted to help create a ‘resilient profession through empathetic leadership, effective communication and participative decision-making’. 

She added: ’With renewed energy and determination, together with the RIBA’s international reputation, let us make it a global champion that is public-facing and fit for the future. Let us #ChangeForArchitects.’

The winner will officially take over from current Jones after his term ends in August 2021. Jones, who stood down in March over allegations linked to an extramarital affair, recently returned to his post after giving a ‘sincere and unqualified apology’ to members.

The successful candidate will take up office as president elect on 1 September 2020 and will then serve as RIBA President for a two-year term, beginning on 1 September 2021.

Digital voting for all seats opens on 14 July at 9am and closes on 4 August at 5pm. The results will be announced on 11 August.

Two digital hustings will by held on 7 July and 9 July.

Read the full manifestos and see the videos by the presidential candidates here

RIBA presidential contenders

  • Simon Allford
  • Jude Barber
  • Valeria Passetti
  • Nick Moss
  • Sumita Singh
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