RIBA Gordon Ricketts Memorial Fund

RIBA Gordon Ricketts Memorial Fund

The Gordon Ricketts Memorial Fund was set up in memory of Gordon Ricketts, RIBA Secretary from 1959 - 1968. It awards bursaries of up to £2,000 every two years to present and former members of staff of the RIBA to enable them to engage in an architectural research project.  

Two bursaries were awarded in 2012 to Rebecca Roberts-Hughes and Valeria Carullo.


Housing under construction, Chandigarh, 1950s. Image courtesy RIBA Library Photographs Collection

Rebecca Roberts-Hughes was formerly Policy Manager at the RIBA, responsible for managing the RIBA's policy programmes and Building Futures think tank. She is also currently studying part-time for an interdisciplinary PhD at King's College, London. Her research traces the interrelations of the philosophy of erotic transgression, modernist literature and architecture in the twentieth century through a nexus of thinkers, writers and practitioners with a focus on the French theorist and writer Georges Bataille (1897 - 1962).

The research, supported by the RIBA Gordon Ricketts Memorial Fund, was a case study of Chandigarh, to examine the influence of Georges Bataille's theory of transgression on the work of Le Corbusier.

This case study included a site visit and research using material in the RIBA's archives. It aimed to fully integrate the theory of architectural design with the lived experience of the spaces, showcasing the RIBA's collections and the ability of architecture to bring theory to life.


Still from the film 'La voce lontana' (1933). Architect / set designer: Giuseppe Capponi Image courtesy RIBA Library Books & Periodicals Collection

Valeria Carullo is Curator at the Robert Elwall Photographs Collection, RIBA British Architectural Library, responsible for the Collection management, development and access, and actively involved in outreach activities such as exhibitions and talks. 

Support from the RIBA Gordon Ricketts Memorial Fund is enabling Valeria to pursue her research 'Rationalism on set: architecture, cinema and photography in 1930s Italy'

Valeria was awarded the Gordon Ricketts Memorial Fund four years ago, to undertake research for the 'Framing Modernism' exhibition she co-curated with Robert Elwall. In 2012, she was awarded the funding to pursue a personal research project, considering the role of the Modernist aesthetic in Italian films of the 1920s and 1930s. Valeria's research is being conducted in libraries and in cinema archives, including the Cineteca Nazionale in Rome, the British Film Institute Library in London, and the RIBA Library, which holds several books on the relationship between architecture and cinema.


India: Cities, Architecture and Climate Change:

The 2010 RIBA Gordon Ricketts Memorial Fund was awarded to Tamara Horbacka, formerly Curator of Talks at the RIBA.

The Bursary supported Tamara's visit to India to research and learn about the current status of architecture, urbanism, craft, local technologies and cultural practice taking shape in India in the 21st century.

The aim of Tamara's project was to research and document the work and projects from a wide range of practitioners, as well as academic bodies engaging in extending fields of knowledge on architecture and urban issues. The research forms the basis of a UK-based cultural programme that explores and engages with some of the key urban issues and agendas facing India, as well as the social and cultural impact of urbanisation.

Framing Modernism: Architecture and photography in Italy 1926 - 1965

Artist's house and studio, Milan Triennale 1933

Artist's house and studio, Milan Triennale 1933 Architects: Figini & Pollini Photographer: Stabilimento Fototecnico Crimella Architectural Press Archive/RIBA Library Photographs Collection  

Valeria Carullo, Assistant Curator of the Photographs Collection, RIBA British Architectural Library, received the bursary in 2008 to investigate the relationship between photography and architecture in Italy from the 1920s to the 1960s.

This research supported the exhibition 'Framing Italian Modernism', curated by the British Architecture Library's Assistant Director Robert Elwall and Valeria Carullo, which took place in 2009 at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art and toured to the MAXXI in Rome in 2011.

A report on her research is published below. More details about the exhibition is available on the RIBA blogs.


 For further information about this funding scheme, contact Hayley Russell.

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