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Rogers, Adjaye and Brooks among top architects backing RIBA diversity drive

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Richard Rogers, David Adjaye and Alison Brooks are among 21 renowned architects backing a campaign to increase diversity at the RIBA

In an open letter to RIBA members, the architects, who also include Simon Allford, Deborah Saunt and Owen Luder, have thrown their weight behind the +25 Campaign – a drive to have a mixture black, Asian or minority-ethnic (BAME), women and LGBTQ members make up a quarter of the council following this year’s elections.

The 52-strong list of nationwide contenders for the 2017 council seats, features 14 candidates who are standing as part of the +25 Campaign.

Headed by Society of Black Architects founder and RIBA Council member Elsie Owusu, the campaign has the backing of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (SLCT). 

RIBA president Jane Duncan, president-elect Ben Derbyshire and ex-RIBA president Angela Brady are also among those supporting the campaign. Other signatories are Yasmin Shariff, principal of Sharp Architects; Peter Murray, chair of New London Architecture; and Al Scott, principal of IF_DO Architects.

‘We are delighted that this initiative is boosting equality, inclusion and diversity in UK architecture as well as encouraging talented young people of all backgrounds to join our profession,’ reads the open letter. 

‘We thank Baroness Lawrence and SLCT for promoting this historic initiative and wish all the RIBA+25 candidates well in the elections. We look forward to the positive changes which, if elected as members of council, these inspirational architects and students will help to make – to the benefit of the RIBA and UK architecture as a whole.’

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, chair of the Society of Black Architects; and Simone de Gale of Simone de Gale Architects

Non-BAME 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. Earlier this month, the AJ revealed 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 opened on the 15 June and closes on 26 July.  

Open letter to RIBA Members on RIBA Council Elections 2017

In 2018, we will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, a brilliant young man who wanted to become an architect.

After Stephen’s death in 1993, his mother Doreen, now Baroness Lawrence, founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (SLCT). The purpose of the trust is to combat all forms of discrimination in the construction industries and encourage talented young people of all backgrounds to choose architecture and construction as a career.

25 years later, much has improved in architecture, with the international recognition of wonderful talents such as Dame Zaha Hadid and many others from diverse cultures. However, statistics also show that black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME), women and men are still under-represented in architecture and construction.

With support from SLCT, 14 excellent candidates from diverse communities are standing in the current elections, with the aim of attaining 25 per cent BAME, women and LGBTQ representation on the RIBA Council by 2018. We are delighted that this initiative is boosting equality, inclusion and diversity in UK architecture as well as encouraging talented young people of all backgrounds to join our profession.

We thank Baroness Lawrence and SLCT for promoting this historic initiative and wish all the RIBA+25 candidates well in the elections. We look forward to the positive changes which, if elected as members of council, these inspirational architects and students will help to make – to the benefit of the RIBA and UK architecture as a whole.

Signed

Lord Rogers of Riverside CH, principal, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RHS+P)

Sir David Adjaye OBE, principal, Adjaye Associates

Simon Allford, principal, AHMM

Angela Brady OBE PPRIBA, principal, Brady Mallalieu Architects

Alison Brooks, Alison Brooks Architects

Elspeth Clements, principal, Clements & Porter Architects

Ged Couser, principal, BDP

Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president-elect, principal, HTA Architects

Jonathan Hall, principal, AHMM

Ivan Harbour, principal, RSH+P

Will Hunter, founding director, London School of Architecture

Owen Luder CBE PPRIBA

Paul Monaghan, principal AHMM

Peter Morris, principal, AHMM

Peter Murray, chairman, New London Architecture

Elsie Owusu OBE, principal, Elsie Owusu Architects

Prof. David Porter, chairman, AA School of Architecture

Yasmin Shariff, principal, Sharp Architects

Deborah Saunt, principal, DSDHA

Al Scott, principal, IF_DO Architects

Graham Stirk, principal, RSH+P

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

Ballots

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) 

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • What about Deaf, hard of hearing (HOH) and disabled people working as architects? are they excluded from this supposedly 'diverse' group.

    We work on lower wages than normal hearing people due to our 'inability' to communicate which is frankly ridiculous and it is harder for us to find work.

    Surely we should have an input and say within this group.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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