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Barbara Griffin-Wright, RIBA East Midlands Chair - manifesto

10 September 2019

Manifesto – RIBA East Midlands Chair

  • Establishing collaborative practice - Learning from each other
  • Supporting small practice – Winning work, establishing fees
  • Education and the profession – Different ways to becoming an architect
  • Ethics and sustainable development – Promoting fairness in the profession
  • Wellbeing in the profession – Supporting architects and students
  • Community engagement – Continued support for schools

Barbara Griffin-Wright, RIBA East Midlands Chair 2019-2021

Over the next two years, my aim is to strengthen the role of the RIBA East Midlands Regional Council through collaborative working on region wide events, sharing ideas and applying for combined Local Initiative Funding (LIF) to organise larger initiatives.

The aims of the manifesto will be to establish both inward and outward looking opportunities for our profession, society, and the environment. Although broad agendas are set out, the aim of the regional team will be to develop our goals together, using these themes as a starting point. The regional team is dedicated and passionate and I consider the meetings that we have will be used to plan and debate. The inclusion of presentations and themed discussion as well as decision-making sessions will make these meetings valuable and useful.


RIBA East Midlands Regional Council

The ethical agenda is an overarching theme to encompass fairness, social responsibility and sustainable considerations. Issues such as women in architecture, the climate emergency, community engagement and social mobility all sit within the ethical agenda.

Increasingly we need to be an active part of the discussion about the relationship between practice and education and the need to review how architects are educated and pathways to becoming an architect. This is not about students being ‘practice ready’ it is about addressing the changing ways in which students work, the changing pressures on universities to ‘produce’ successes and the maintaining of standards and parity across schools not just regionally but nationally.

Lincolnshire Society of Architects new president, Jonathan Thorns, receiving the branch chain from Barbara

From personal experience the importance of wellbeing and understanding what it is, has come into focus and is front and centre in this manifesto. Prior to suffering from mental health issues, I looked upon wellbeing as something that ‘tough chicks’ didn’t need to worry about. We could handle it all. Realistically no one can and the profession needs to realise that many of the anxieties we suffer from are very common to all architects and by talking about it we can begin to support each other.

Supporting practices is paramount. The aim is to focus particularly on winning work and establishing new opportunities through networking with allied disciplines. We need to promote the role of the architect regionally, not only with the public but with developers, planners and councils. Establishing links to develop positive opportunities for us all is paramount in my current role.

As RIBA East Midlands Regional Chair, I look forward to working with the enthusiastic team moving forwards.

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