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Inclusion and workplace guidance

As part of our commitment to being an inclusive organisation, RIBA are working to ensure that the architecture sector and the wider construction industry is representative of the communities and societies we serve.

Explore our inclusion and workplace guidance and resources below.

Toolkits and guidance

Inclusive Design Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work
RIBA with generous support of Pareisse Wilson (Project Lead), Motionspot, Heathrow and Jane Simpson Access, have developed an Inclusive Design Overlay to provide guidance on implementing inclusive design through each RIBA Plan of Work stage to enable informed decision making at the right time and order, to enable practical guidance on the best ways to embrace and excel within inclusion.

How introverted architects can become effective business leaders
This professional feature discusses how the quiet power of introverted architects can help with career progression.


Inclusion and transparency report, April 2022 to March 2023
In our second annual inclusion transparency report, we reflect on our EDI progress to date, our evolving strategy, and our goals for the future.

RIBA responds to National Disability Strategy, July 2021
Our response to the National Disability Strategy, which sets out actions the Government will take to improve the everyday lives of all disabled people.

“Accessibility requirements must become standard for new homes” – RIBA urges government to update the Building Regulations, December 2020
Our response to the government consultation on accessible housing.

Memorandum of Understanding AUD
Find out more about our joint action plan to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sector. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is honoured to enter a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American University in Dubai (AUD) to further develop design excellence in the UAE.

Memorandum of Understanding AUS
Find out more about our joint action plan to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sector. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is honoured to enter a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the American University of Sharjah (AUS) to further develop design excellence in the UAE.

RIBA Inclusion Charter

Inclusion Charter
Join our campaign to break down barriers and make architecture more inclusive. RIBA Inclusion Charter invites RIBA members to step up and demonstrate their commitment to making architecture more inclusive.

Inclusion Charter action plan
With the support of our expert advisory group, Architects for Change, the RIBA has made some progress to more deeply understand the key challenges that the architecture profession faces regarding equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Inclusion footprints
We have set out a list of Inclusion Footprints: steps you can take to drive inclusion and diversity.

Disability inclusion

Introducing the Neurodiversity Architecture Network
In this blog to mark Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2024, Luísa Pires, founder of the Neurodiversity Architecture Network, reflects on its progress and outlines tips for supporting neurodivergent colleagues.

Jessie Buckle: Epilepsy and the built environment: how architects can design inclusively for neurological conditions
Learn more about the range of steps that can help those who suffer from the second most common neurological condition in the world.

Adaptable, accessible, affordable: housing for disabled and older people
Read about our recent contributions to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee inquiry on disabled people in the housing sector, and our roundtable discussion with the Older People’s Housing Taskforce. RIBA's Senior Policy Advisor, Charlotte Watson, offers a concise overview of our recent work on accessible housing provision.

How architects can help when an occupant’s accessibility needs change
Producing personalised, accessible and well-designed spaces is crucial when a person’s circumstances change dramatically.

Lienkie Diedericks: a shift in perspective is needed to see the barriers to access all around us
In this blog to mark Disability History Month, RIBA Inclusion and Diversity Specialist Lienkie Diedericks reflects on her experience of socially created barriers that disable.

Gina Callaghan: from Penarth to Fairwater - lessons learned on inclusive learning communities
To mark Disability History Month, architect Gina Callaghan discusses creating learning environments that cater for students with a variety of learning needs.

Craig Mewse: breaking barriers and empowering young people through inclusive architecture
To mark Disability History Month, architect Craig Mewse discusses designing educational spaces that empower young people with disabilities.

David Tigg: magical, functional and enabling – reflecting on House for Theo and Oskar
In this blog to mark Disability History Month, David Tigg reflects on his practice’s project House for Theo and Oskar, whose soaring diagrid canopy frees up space for the complex needs of a young family.

RIBA celebrates Disability History Month 2023
A round-up of blogs and events to celebrate Disability History Month from 16 November to 16 December 2023.

Neurodiversity and architecture: how practices can create supportive environments, March 2022
Read about how two architects share their experiences of living with different neurodivergences, in celebration of Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

RIBA supports Neurodiversity Celebration Week, March 2022
Find resources, events, and online seminars, in celebration of Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2022.

‘Disrupted by Design’: Call for expressions of interest in hosting a deaf or disabled artist in residence, March 2022
The DisOrdinary Architecture Project promotes new models of practice for the built environment, led by the creativity and experiences of disabled and Deaf artists. They are seeking expressions of interest from architecture practices, cultural institutions, and universities interested in collaborating on their upcoming project.

Accessible architecture? How today’s inclusive spaces can help solve 200 years of accessible design challenges
Revisiting the RIBA Collections, Ed Warner, Founder and CEO of the accessible design business, Motionspot, and Government Access Ambassador for Accessible Products and Spaces, looks at how modern-day inclusive principles can help to solve the decades of accessible design challenges evidenced in the collections.

Deaf Gain, disability and rethinking design, November 2022
Read about the Deaf Gain, disability, and rethinking design in November 2022, hosted by Deaf architects Chris Laing and Richard Dougherty, who spoke about their creative approach to designing an inclusive festival pavilion. Find out more about The DisOrdinary Architecture Project, which promotes new models of practice for the built environment, led by the creativity and experiences of disabled and Deaf artists.

Where to start in addressing neurodiversity in your designs, December 2021
Learn mind-friendly design approaches. Access and inclusion consultants Stephanie Kyle and Steven Maslin explain the impacts of colours, acoustics, and other factors on neurodiverse building users.

Accessible hotel design competition returns with wider remit, October 2017.
Read about the 2017 hotel design competition, funded by Bespoke Access Awards.

LGBTQ+ workplace resources

A hundred years of Surrealism - le cadavre exquis activity toolkit for practices
For LGBT+ History Month 2024, we marked the 100th anniversary of Surrealism – a powerful movement in the arts. As part of this anniversary, we've created an interactive toolkit influenced by architecture that allows participants, quite literally, to play with, dissemble and reimagine items from the RIBA Collections. Read more about the Surrealist movement and its connection to the LGBTQ+ community.

RIBA Collections research guide: LGBTQ+ spaces
This guide signposts just a few of the resources and material relating to this topic available through the RIBA's Library and Collections.

RIBA celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2022, June 2022
Find out how we highlighted and celebrated the work of LGBTQ+ communities and sharing allyship guidance and resources, during Pride Month 2022.

Built environment bodies unite to improve inclusion and diversity, 27 April 2022
Find out more about our joint action plan to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sector.

Pride Month - Discretion by design: St. Ann's Court, June 2021
Read about the story of how two men navigated homophobic attitudes in commissioning a modernist home in the 1930s, illustrated by photographs and drawings from the RIBA Collections.

Talking about gender pronouns in the workplace, June 2021
In celebration of Pride Month 2021, RIBA called for an open discussion about gender pronouns across the profession.

"The Partners": Seely and Paget
The firm Seely and Paget played an important role in British architecture from the 1920s to the 1960s, from their controversial transformation of Eltham Palace for Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in 1936, to their work as successive surveyors to the fabric of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Revisiting Florence's Duomo
We explore how the dome of Florence Cathedral reveals the presence of queer stories at the symbolic heart of the Western architectural tradition.

Revisiting the Collections: The queer aesthetics of Strawberry Hill House
Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham, southwest London, can be read as a "queer architectural rebellion”, raising important questions about the connection between architectural innovation and queer identity.

Revisiting the RIBA Collections: Plas Newydd and the Ladies of Llangollen
Chair of RIBA’s internal LGBTQ+ Community group, Emily Jeffers explores how a cottage in rural Wales has led contemporary historians to re-evaluate how we project our own understanding of female queer relationships onto historic figures, particularly women, who have expressed intimacy in different ways.

Gender in the workplace

Gender pay gap guidance
Read about the guidance published by the RIBA for architecture practices on closing the gender pay gap, as part of our commitment to support a diverse and inclusive profession.

What barriers are still in place for women in architecture?
Sumita Singha suggests ways for women to thrive in the built environment. In her book, Thrive: A Field Guide For Women In Architecture she takes a global look at women’s progress in the profession throughout history and is a practical guide to navigating the key stop-off points during a career.

How can architecture practices create supportive environments for those experiencing menopause?
The profession’s longstanding debate about how to improve retention rates for women in architecture tends to focus on the maternity return-to-work process. But it's estimated that 10% of women leave the profession due to workplace barriers related to menopause, a far less-discussed issue.

RIBA celebrates Women's History Month
Explore some of our resources, from local and national events happening this week celebrating the role of women in architecture and spotlighting the influence of a female architect in the design of the British Library.

Menopause and work
Raising awareness on this topic and reducing the stigma attached to it is vital so that open discussions can take place and inform the development of effective guidance and resources.

Talking about gender pronouns in the workplace
In celebration of Pride Month 2021, RIBA called for an open discussion about gender pronouns across the profession.

Take the lead on inclusivity by Angela Dapper (Grimshaw), April 2021 (Article exclusive to RIBA Members)

Open mic: the Menopause
The first of a series of online conversations about the menopause, discussing the symptoms, available support, and stigma.

RIBA Collections research guide: Women in architecture
Take a look at our women in architecture RIBA Collections guide.

A dwelling of her own: Housing for single, working women in the 20th century
Working women weren’t a new phenomenon; many British women had been factory workers, teachers, and domestic servants throughout the 19th century, and many more worked within their own homes. Read about housing for single, working women in the 20th century.

Pioneers then and now
Jane Drew, Pat Tindale, Elaine Denby and Rosemary Stjernstedt reflect upon their careers as women architects.

Revisiting the Collections: The Forgotten Women
Sarah Ackland of Part W calls for collections like RIBA’s to do more to proactively address the under-representation of women architects from architectural archives.

Women in Architecture (WIA) RIBA Working Parents event
This is the first event of the ‘Architects Mothers, Fathers and Parents Community’ by WIA UK at RIBA, in May 2023. (Credit: Lawrence Barraclough, You See Media on Vimeo).

Recognising race, ethnicity, religion and beliefs

Black History Month: why practices should engage more with grassroots movements, October 2023 (RIBAJ)
RIBA has been celebrating Black History Month during October with a theme of ‘saluting our sisters’ and showcasing the contributions that black female architects have made to the profession.

Let’s all "be more Rosa," says RIBA CEO to mark Black History Month, October 2023
Hear from RIBA Chief Executive Dr Valerie Vaughan-Dick MBE as we celebrate the Black History Month 2023 theme, saluting our sisters.

RIBA celebrates Black History Month 2022, October 2022
Find out how RIBA celebrated Black History Month 2022. Sharing previously untold stories from our RIBA Collections, as well as looking to the future, with a note from RIBA’s President, Muyiwa Oki.

Celebrating Black History Month: a reading list, October 2022
A selection of publications from RIBA’s wide range of library resources, highlighting the contributions, achievements and work of Black professionals in the built environment, both in the UK and internationally.

Who was the first Black RIBA Member?
This is a question we’d like to be able to answer more definitively. In this article, our RIBA Collections team share their approach to answering it, signpost to RIBA Library and Collections sources that inform their research, and explore why some questions remain unanswered.

How to be a better ally, 21 April 2022
Practical steps on how we can all be better allies to those from underrepresented racialised groups – supporting our shared goal to create a fairer and more inclusive society.

RIBA Honorary Fellow LionHeart creates new film on race and architecture
An introduction on film on race and architecture by RIBA Honorary Fellow Rhael 'LionHeart' Cape.

RIBA funds new bursary programme to boost equality and racial diversity in architecture, September 2021
On what would have been Stephen Lawrence’s 47th birthday, we were honoured to announce the new collaboration between the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and The London School of Architecture.

RIBA signs Halo Code to protect against racial discrimination
The RIBA has signed the Halo Code – the UK’s first Black hair code – to protect the rights of staff who come to work with natural hair and protective hairstyles associated with their racial, ethnic, and cultural identities. Read more about RIBA and the Halo Code.

"This Dilemma": Collecting and constraints at the RIBA
Shaping of RIBA Collections, to consider what absences and silences they might be defined by.

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