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RIBA Honorary Fellows 2021 announced

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce the 2021 RIBA Honorary Fellowships, which will be awarded to individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, including property, politics, infrastructure, arts and business.

29 October 2020

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce the 2021 RIBA Honorary Fellowships, which will be awarded to individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, including property, politics, infrastructure, arts and business.

RIBA Honorary Fellowships are awarded annually to people who have made a significant contribution to architecture. This includes individuals who have advanced its role in creating more sustainable communities and supporting equity and inclusion; those involved in its promotion and management, and those who nurture future generations.

The 2021 RIBA Honorary Fellowships will be awarded to:

  • Laura Allen and Mark Smout - Professors Laura Allen and Mark Smout are a teaching and architectural research partnership based at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Their contribution has been impactful and wide ranging, helping to develop and inspire architects around the world.
  • Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape - Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape is a spoken word performer and UK architecture’s first poet in residence. Drawing on personal experiences, observations and conversations with architects, his poetry explores memory, mental health and our collective relationship with the built environment.
  • Marc Dubois – Marc Dubois is an eminent critic and lecturer on architecture in Belgium. Having written for leading architectural journals in Europe, his critical reflections have promoted the unique values of contemporary Flemish architecture and helped to re-position the country’s architecture.
  • Theaster Gates - Theaster Gates is an American artist and social innovator whose work includes sculpture, ceramics, performance and urban preservation. Drawing on his training in urban planning, he created the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit platform for art, cultural development and neighbourhood transformation in his hometown Chicago.
  • Sandra Halliday - An early pioneer of sustainable architecture, engineer Professor Sandra Halliday has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and understanding of green construction methods. Running a research and consultancy practice, she has authored guidance around passive design, building physics and sustainability.
  • Fiona Jarvis – Fiona Jarvis is founder and CEO of Blue Badge Style, a website and app designed to provide information for people with mobility issues. Fiona Jarvis is a powerful advocate for the relationship between good design, accessibility and the built environment.
  • Kenneth Kinsella - Director of Capital Projects at the London School of Economics (LSE), Kenneth Kinsella is an exemplar client and champion of good architecture. His legacy is demonstrated through the procurement, construction and promotion of world class buildings in the regeneration of LSE.
  • Rowan Moore - Rowan Moore, architecture critic for The Observer, is one of the UK’s best-known writers and critics on architecture. His distinct knowledge and understanding of architecture, combined with his strength as a communicator, make him a uniquely influential figure.
  • Marvin Rees – As Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees founded a city owned housing company to develop and build homes. He has overseen a major housebuilding programme, increased the percentage of affordable homes and embarked on the largest council house building scheme for over 35 years.
  • Roni Savage - Engineering geologist, Roni Savage is founder of Jomas Associates, a consultancy specialising in geotechnics and contaminated land. As a black woman working in a male-dominated industry, Roni advocates for gender diversity and social mobility through mentoring and campaigning.
  • Sheela Søgaard - Sheela Søgaard is CEO and Partner of global architecture practice BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. Overseeing finances and operations, she has developed BIG into one of the world’s major practices. Implementing robust parental policies, she has put an equitable meritocracy at the heart of the company.

Please click here for the Honours Committee citations, biographies and images.


Notes to editors:

1. For further press information contact: or 020 7307 3813.

2. Honorary Fellowships are awarded by the RIBA each year to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the quality of architecture, the achievements of the profession and the aims and objectives of the RIBA. Any person who is not an architect may be nominated by RIBA members and elected as an Honorary Fellow. The lifetime honour allows recipients to use the initials Hon FRIBA after their name.

3. The 2021 RIBA Honours Committee who selected the 2021 Honorary Fellows was chaired by RIBA President Professor Alan Jones, alongside architects Professor Lesley Lokko, Professor Dorte Mandrup and Professor Shelley McNamara and structural engineer Professor Hanif Kara.

4. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow RIBA on Twitter for regular updates.

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