Professor Kester Rattenbury awarded 2022 RIBA Annie Spink Award

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce Professor Kester Rattenbury as the recipient of the 2022 RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education.

06 December 2022

The prestigious biennial prize is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of architectural education, in a school of architecture anywhere in the world that offers courses validated by the RIBA. 

Kester Rattenbury. Image: Clare Banstead.

Rattenbury is an architectural teacher, critic, writer and academic, who has taught design studio for 30 years: first at the University of Greenwich; then since 2000 at the University of Westminster in London. Here she ran the experimental studio DS 15 with Sean Griffiths and also devised and spearheaded the research group EXP (Experimental Practice) with its leading projects the Supercrit series and the Archigram Archival Project - which was rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She was made FRIBA in 2005 and Professor at Westminster in 2014. 

Rattenbury contributes towards the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s PhD by Practice community. She has published more than 700 publications on architecture including professional, national and international journalism and popular and academic books, with key titles including This Is Not Architecture and The Wessex Project. All these different strands of work combine to form a lifelong study of how architects work. 

On receiving the award, Professor Kester Rattenbury said: 

“I feel extremely lucky to be chosen by the jury – in what is a fundamentally collaborative field. We all, always, work together: with hundreds of creative, individual students; in teaching partnerships; in wider studio and school communities; in research and knowledge projects both in, beyond and between schools and practices. 

Despite all the pitfalls and problems, architectural education is an amazing, profoundly creative network of action and thinking, with highly inventive and collaborative ways of working which have (though we don’t always say so) evolved to enable us to design for things to change: to think projectively, critically and proactively in the face of an unknown future. With the massive challenges we’re now facing, we need to use and value this system, and all the positive strategies it offers us, like never before. 

On behalf of all my brilliant collaborators and the wider network of people working so hard to deliver creative, positive and responsible teaching for a better approach to the future, but especially all my wonderful colleagues and students at the University of Westminster over so many years, I’m delighted to accept this award.” 

RIBA President Simon Allford said: 

“Congratulations to Kester Rattenbury on receiving our 2022 Annie Spink Award. I have known Kester for many years, and have admired her writing and teaching, so I was personally delighted when I was advised that she had been chosen to receive this award.  

With a career spanning decades, Kester has cemented herself as a fixture and guiding light in architectural education. Kester’s contributions to a wide range of publications and ground-breaking practice-based teaching and research exemplify her commitment to helping students excel and face the challenges ahead.” 


Notes to editors: 

1. Media contact: 

2. Download press images 

3. The 2022 Annie Spink judging panel included: 

  • Chair: Sumita Singha (Director at Ecologic Architects, UK; Visiting lecturer in Professional Practice of Architecture at the University of Westminster, UK; RIBA Councillor, Board member and Trustee) 
  • Richard Adetokunbo Aina (Architectural Assistant at Timothy Hatton Architects; winner of the 2021 RIBA Dissertation Medal; member of the RIBA Education Development Group) 
  • Murray Fraser (Professor of Architecture and Global Culture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, UK; winner of the 2018 RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education) 
  • Magdalena Kozień-Woźniak (Dean of the Faculty of Architecture of the Cracow University of Technology, Poland) 
  • Jane Pavitt (Head of Research and Learning, Zaha Hadid Foundation, UK) 
  • Toby Shew (Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Oxford Brookes University, UK) 
  • Ola Uduku (Roscoe Chair and Head of the School of Architecture of the University of Liverpool, UK; member of the RIBA Research Development Group). 

4. The £10,000 Annie Spink Award is financed by the Annie Spink Trust Fund, which was established in 1974 by architect Herbert Spink FRIBA. He bequeathed the trust as a lasting memorial to his wife Annie, who died in 1938, as an honour for the ‘advancement of architectural education’. Past recipients of the Annie Spink Award include Murray Fraser, Christine Hawley, Florian Beigel, Nigel Coates, Peter Cook and Dalibor Vesely. 

5. 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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