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Ultra-low RIBA elections turnout is ‘wake-up call’, says former president


I speak from the experience of re-building and running an RIBA Special Interest Group (Conservation) that consisted of partners in the most significant practices in the field to expert specialist sole practitioners from across the country; finding our work traduced and sidelined at every corner by the executive and condescended to by Trustees; taking a National Council seat in order to try to change things from the inside and finding Council treated with contempt by the exectutive; and being instructed by a salaried 'Director' to stop trying to build initiatives as they had more important things to do than listen to Members' needs. I can therefore only agree with all the previous comments. I could write at length (indeed, a book on the lost values of Professionalism is on the stocks), but it's enough to say that the Institute is irrelevant to the the vast majority of a dwindling Membership (now only 60% of those on the ARB Register?) and needs dramatically to reform, slash overheads (is it still over 400 staff?) and reconnect training, education and practice into a coherent and properly skilled force that industry can once more respect, while also celebrating the widest range of small to medium projects that are presently kept out of sight by a suffocatingly narrow presumption of what constitutes "Good Design" (and I include the AJ in this) - i.e. anything glassy, tall, backed up by over-glamourised 'super-realism' aerial views at dusk, from any one of a few favoured practices. If it can't do that it should gracefully expire and leave professional and educational standards to ARB, and the 'Architectural Debate' to the numerous almost zero-cost and excellent forums that are now appearing, and that we can all relate to. At least the Drawings Collection is now in a safe place at the V&A; now it's time for the books to be properly looked after by the British Library. Then there will be no reason for RIBA to continue to exist. Sad, but increasingly inevitable.

Posted date

6 August, 2019

Posted time

12:56 pm