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Deputy London mayor slams architecture’s complacency on diversity


As a mentor with SMF (Social Mobility Foundation) for five years, supporting female, mainly Muslim, sixth formers in their attempts to apply for architecture courses, I have identified a range of barriers that conspire against them from the very beginning. Until we address these we have no hope of addressing the profession's lack of diversity: - there is no effective continuity between Yr 11 and 12, when these girls mostly move from school to a 6th form college - they therefore receive no useful advice or encouragement to ensure they choose suitable A'Levels for Architecture - they come under parental pressure to study a shorter course, for fear of the debts they will incur and financial hardship - there are precious few role models to them to emulate - 'widening participation' is not seen as a priority by many architecture schools (with notable exceptions like UCL) - lack of a feasible work-based alternative; only one university currently offers an apprenticeship programme at Part 1 level None of these things is difficult to address if we make a profession-wide commitment to engage with schools, colleges and universities. But if we don't do that absolutely nothing will change. Jules Pipe is right. The top 100 practices must take the initiative and set an example.

Posted date

15 July, 2019

Posted time

9:19 am