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
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
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
Sherman Chiu Shing Tang
Simone de Gale
RIBA London (eight seats, 10 candidates)
Alia Beyg Javed
International Americas (one seat, three candidates)
International Asia and Australasia (one seat, two candidates)
Goh Chong Chia
Roger Tsan-Sum Wu
International Middle East and Africa (one seat, two candidates)
Student (one seat, three candidates)
Jordan Saul Bizzell
International Europe (one seat)
RIBA West Midlands (one seat)