Tim Bailey has been the Chair of the RIBA North East region since September 2016 and is a Partner in xsite architecture in Newcastle. Here, he takes one look back at 2017 and two steps forward into the New Year.
This region has always had a powerful agitating force built in to the way it operates and sees the world. For the architectural profession that has served up over the years ground breaking architecture and methods of practice.
In 2017, with the prospect of ever more challenging business conditions, and the onset of the digital and technological revolution in construction, regional architects have been eager to talk, to exchange ideas, and to form a better understanding of their place in the world.
The amount and quality of engagement between members and others is increasing continually and some real innovation in the region has caught the imagination of central RIBA.
This includes the launch of our YAPF (Young Architectural Practitioners Forum) and a subsequent invitation to share that model with other regions; a successful micro version of Guerrilla Tactics in our own COALFACE event in October; and the establishment of a Small Practice Group; plus, the launch of a regional Research Forum; and high membership engagement at our two #BeRIBA events this year. The North East heads into 2018 with real purpose and determination.
Ahead of us are more great events but also the opportunity to begin to shape representation in the profession for the future. There is likely to be a consultation on members’ priorities for action (fees, procurement and business skills are always favourites).
There needs to be a wider discussion about Architectural Education and the impact of the tech sector on our roles. And we need to get to the bottom of what collaboration means and how we can benefit from its influence, bringing on YAPF and the Student Societies to indicate the way.
Here’s wishing you, your practice members, and all your families a wonderful Christmas period and a hugely successful 2018. Look forward to seeing you at RIBA events throughout the year.