FutuRIBA roadshow day 7: Training, research and development

Alan Baxter – Tuesday April 11th

An interdisciplinary perspective from a very diverse range of professional stand point at a very well attended event in Alan Baxter Associates Gallery.

On the RIBA…

“Collaboration with RIBA is very difficult and very unusual” – John Roberts, Jacobs

“Collaboration is the theme of the ABA discussion. It’s most essential at the larger-than-building scale of the built environment. Urbanism is vital and is being undermined by sophistic design culture of glossy-print architecture.” Michael Hebbat, UCL Bartlett

On the Future…

“RIBA (and RICS and the RTPI) should consider a foundation year in ‘The Built Environment’ at university, after which students could specialise in a specific field (architecture or planning say). We might end up with design aware planners and practically skilled architects that way as opposed to oppositional specialisms.

I’m an architectural historian, I’m a chartered planner and I work in an engineering firm. I often think we’d end up with better solutions if we left our labels at the door. In 2014, centenary year of the RTPI, the AJ ran a front cover headline ‘Why we hate planners’. We have some way to go.” Alice Eggeling, Alan Baxter

“You don’t suddenly get your qualification & the next day be better at your profession. University teaches you how to think, not what you know.” – Hannah Butlin, Alan Baxter

“RIBA should join forces with other built environment professionals and trades to promote awareness of the built environment and all that goes into shaping it, rather than promoting architecture as a career independently of other roles.” – Clare Coats, Alan Baxter

“Education: Urban Design is the fundamental platform for all the built environment professionals – should be a common foundation year and then specialise. Would engender better understanding of value, collaboration, teamwork and each other’s contribution and specialist knowledge.” – Alexandra Rook, UGD

“The RIBA must be more open, collaborative, sharing with the other professions.”- John Worthington

“The RIBA has a vital role to play on research and recent developments have been confused.” – Dr Matthew Barac London Met Uni

“1- Yes to partnerships – architects have so much to offer: exceptional education!
2- RIBA HQ: wonderful platform for debate. Great place for events.
3- Celebrating quality of life = positives of great places. Link to listing!
4- Working with the existing – Should be taken as seriously as new design.
5- Celebrating everyone, not just the stars, research social impact.” – Roger Bowdler, Historic England

“1) Focus on education of architects to be more pragmatic, empirical, focused on wellbeing.
2) Change what you lobby.
3) Focus on high quality or empirical research not just opinions dressed up as research.
4) RIBA competitions- voting panels of normal people.” –Nicholas Boys Smith, Create Streets

“I wholeheartedly support collaboration. Also, streamlining the academic training and combining it with more hands-on work related learning is vital. This requires significant commitment of practising architects to the architects of the future.

There needs to be a common language that brings the profession together so that all can feel they are represented and belong to something that represents them. Collaboration, affiliate membership and the restraining the arrogance of architects as the exclusive owners of design is essential.” Michael Coombs, Alan Baxter

1) How many architects do we need? So much of design work is digitised, why train for a decade only to end up a CAD jockey, detailing 30-storeys’ worth of fire doors? I’ve witnessed truly shocking levels of exploitation of young architects.
2) A corollary to the above: if computers take over grunt work, how to prevent the profession from cleaving in two – technocrats designing highly specialised, engineered structures on the one hand, and on the other, traditionalists retreating into a conservation cul-de-sac?
3) Education of architects seems to lack historical context or information about historic building materials and methods. Recently, I have explained what an ionic capital is, and the importance of the right mortar for repointing early 19th century brickwork, in both cases to architects working on listed buildings. Ten years, you say? What have they been doing?” – Kit Wedd, Alan Baxter

So what do you think? Do you feel disconnected from the RIBA and think there’s a better way we could be engaging architects? How do you see us representing you, your practice or your profession more effectively?

You’ll find our upcoming dates here.