FutuRIBA roadshow day 1: Education, technology and value

Xsite Architects, Newcastle – Thursday December 1st

The first day of our FutuRIBA tour was an opportunity to open the debate that I had started during my campaign for presidency of the RIBA.

For those of you who have followed that campaign, you’ll know my platform was one dedicated to openness and how best we can improve the institute for its members – and the members who were kind enough to join the discussion at Xsite Architects in Newcastle did a great job in opening up some conversation points.

Here are a few of the comments and ideas that came out of the session.

On the RIBA…

‘The RIBA needs to go into schools and encourage children – particularly females – to become architects.’

‘In Newcastle, there are limited RIBA events and CPDs are difficult to attend during working hours. Online CPDs would be a great way to address this and alone would inspire me to become a member.’

‘The value of architects needs to be championed and the benefits of a healthy work/life balance promoted. This might encourage more women to be have confidence in returning to architecture after having children.’

‘Not one person could articulate the value of RIBA membership. Ben will not achieve all of the things on his manifesto – so would be better focusing on one thing and clearly communicate the value position of joining the RIBA’

‘We all know clients undervalue architects, but this is exacerbated by architects doing so much for free and undercutting each other on fees. Can – or should – the RIBA promote a ‘no fee, no design’ policy that includes competitive tendering?’

‘Great to see diversity on the agenda and mentioned so often in the room. However, what value is there of increasing access to the profession while the industry continues to be hostile to non-straight, white able-bodied, well-to-do men?’

‘Architecture is a job of collaboration and will benefit from broad, more open access from all backgrounds.’

‘Support us and we will engage.’

On the future…

‘We talk about new technologies and how that is shaping the role of architecture. I think we should make the most of current technology to engage with practices and architects who are further afield, in different countries etc. RIBA is becoming more global, so there needs to be a system that brings members together virtually.’

‘More subsidies are needed for funding courses like the RIBA conservation and designer courses. With developments in CDM 2015 regulations, architects were thought best placed to perform this role, however we’re now having to look for accreditation from APS. Could we possibly link with APS to run events or training for architects?’

‘Our entire architecture courses need review as students have no real skills to bring into a practice environment – meaning that more ‘in office’ learning is required.

‘Technology is becoming increasingly important in both connecting regions and the design of buildings themselves. More needs to be done to encourage student participation and interest in the RIBA.’

So what do you think? Is the RIBA doing enough to support learning across the whole of the UK? Is investment in training and technology what we need to better represent you, your practice or your profession?

Let us know in the comments below, or if you’d like to come along and share your thoughts in person, you’ll find our upcoming dates here.

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