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Richard Rogers backs RIBA diversity drive, as council candidates named

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Richard Rogers has backed a campaign to increase diversity at the RIBA, as the institute announced the candidates for this year’s RIBA Council elections

The 52-strong list of contenders competing for seats on the institute’s governing bodies, features 14 candidates who are standing as part of its +25 Campaign – a drive to have Black, Asian or minority-ethnic members make up a quarter of the council .

Rogers, a co-founding patron of the Society of Black Architects (SOBA), said he was ‘100 per cent’ in support of the initiative during a meeting at his house with SOBA founder and RIBA council member Elsie Owusu last month. 

The campaign, which is being headed by Owusu, has also been backed by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, as well as a number of high-profile individuals.

RIBA president Jane Duncan, president-elect Ben Derbyshire and ex-RIBA president Angela Brady are among those to have thrown their weight behind the campaign.

The +25 Campaign candidates include Alice Asafu-Adjaye, founding director of Accra studio Mustard and previously an associate director with Adjaye Associates in Ghana, who is competing for an International Middle East and Africa seat; Chris Nasah, the current chair of the Society of Black Architects; and Simone de Gale of Simone de Gale Architects

Other candidates standing for RIBA Council include Reading University architecture professor Flora Samuel, formerly head of architecture at Sheffield University where she was the first woman to hold the post, and Patrick Lynch of Lynch Architects.

Nearly half of those standing this year are women.

RIBA Council, which has four scheduled meetings per year, is the ultimate governing body at the institute. The AJ revealed last week that the institute commissioned law firm BWB to independently review the institute’s governance structure.

Although the report acknowledged the council was the ‘highest authority within the RIBA’s governance structure’, it found that the organisation’s structure was ‘fundamentally flawed’. 

The agenda for an impromptu, private council meeting to discuss the findings of the report, noted a resolution at the previous council meeting in Hull in March to reduce the council size from up to 63 members to nearer 45.

An RIBA spokesperson told the AJ that the reduction in the council’s size would occur ‘progressively over a couple of years, as council member terms expire until we get down to the new agreed size’.

RIBA councillors are elected on a three-year term, with elections held every year and an approximate rotation of one third of the council. 

Voting for the 2017 RIBA Council elections will open on the 15 June, and close on 26 July. 

RIBA 2017 council candidates for the +25 Campaign

  • Alice Adjaye
  • Yemi Aladerun
  • Jordan Bizzell
  • Ibrahim Buhari
  • Simone deGale
  • Stephanie Edwards
  • Lanre Gbolade
  • Dona Hasanaj
  • Indy Johar
  • Michael Martin
  • Chris Nasah
  • Timothy Onyenobi
  • Rahim Rahemtulla
  • Selasi Setufe

The RIBA 2017 council elections candidates 

Unopposed candidates

Andrew Bourne – RIBA Wessex

Anthony Lloyd – RIBA West Midlands

Graham Devine – RIBA South West

John Wilde – RIBA South West

Kerr Robertson – RIAS South

Nick Mills – RIBA Wessex

Selasi Setufe – Associate


Vice president membership

Albena Atanassova

Michael Goode

Valeria Passetti

A ballot will be held among the chairs of the English regions and the presidents of the RSUA, RIAS and RSAW.

National (six seats, 22 candidates)

Christopher John Mitchell

Chris Nasah

Craig Allen

Daniel Leon

David Howarth

Dmitry Ivanoff

Dona Hasanaj

Flora Samuel

Gillian Peskett

Ibrahim Buhari

Jason Bill

John Assael

Martin Knight

Patrick Lynch

Peter Kellow

Phil Cooper

Philip Graham

Rosemarie Andrews

Sherman Chiu Shing Tang

Simone de Gale

Timothy Onyenobi

Yemi Aladerun

RIBA London (eight seats, 10 candidates)

Alia Beyg Javed

Chris Hampson

Debbie Flevotomou

Indy Johar

Lanre Gbolade

Michael Martin

Rahim Rahemtulla

Shahriar Nasser

Stephanie Edwards

Wendy Charlton

International Americas (one seat, three candidates) 

Catherine Davis

Deborah Bentley

Lira Luis

International Asia and Australasia (one seat, two candidates)

Goh Chong Chia

Roger Tsan-Sum Wu

International Middle East and Africa (one seat, two candidates)

Alice Asafu-Adjaye

Jonathan Ashmore

Student (one seat, three candidates)

Abdulbari Kutbi

Abigail Patel

Jordan Saul Bizzell

Vacant seats

International Europe (one seat)

RIBA West Midlands (one seat) 

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