IMPORTANT Read the RIBA's latest COVID-19 advice and information | Website terms of use and cookie statement

Winners of 2020 RIBA President’s Medal for Research and Research Awards announced

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Tuesday 19 January) announced the recipient of the RIBA President’s Medal for Research and the winners of the President’s Awards for Research.

19 January 2021

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Tuesday 19 January) announced the recipient of the RIBA President’s Medal for Research and the winners of the President’s Awards for Research, which celebrate the best research in the fields of architecture and the built environment.

Surface details of probiotic tile; Probiotic Design, Richard Beckett

The winner of the 2020 RIBA President’s Medal for Research is Richard Beckett from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, for ‘Probiotic Design.’ Through exploring the integral role of bacteria in human health, Richard proposes a design approach that reintroduces beneficial bacteria to create healthy buildings.

Probiotic Design was selected from winners of the 2020 RIBA President’s Awards for Research, which were given in four categories: Climate Change, Cities and Community, Design and Technical and History and Theory.

Climate Change:

Louisa Bowles, Jake Attwood-Harris, Raheela Khan-Fitzgerald and Ben Robinson of Hawkins\Brown

The Hawkins\Brown Emission Reduction Tool: providing a data visualisation tool to enable architects to make informed decisions on their projects’ carbon emissions

Cities and Community:

Eli Hatleskog, University of Bristol and University of the Arts London; Flora Samuel, University of Reading

Mapping social values

Design and Technical:

Richard Beckett, Bartlett School of Architecture

Probiotic Design

History and Theory:

Lukasz Stanek, The University of Manchester

Architecture in global socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War

RIBA President, Alan Jones, said:

“Research is an important aspect of the architects’ profession, informing how we address the major issues facing the industry, government, society and the world at large. I congratulate the 2020 RIBA President’s Research Award winners for rising to the top and being recognised for the high quality and potential impact of their work. The RIBA President’s Research Medal winner, Probiotic Design, is an impressive, unique and innovative approach to creating healthy buildings. Research can be found across many areas of practice and business, academia, institutes and disciplines, and it’s crucial that we continue to celebrate and support the important role research has in our futures.”

Read about President's Award for Research winners on RIBA Journal.


Notes to editors:

  1. For further press information contact: or 020 7307 3813
  2. Download press images
  3. The jury for the RIBA President’s Awards for Research 2020 was chaired by Marylis Ramos (Director at PRP Architects) and was comprised of Professor Christine Wall (Reader of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster), Professor Chris Tweed (Head of School of Architecture & Director of the Centre for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment, Cardiff University), Dr Cristina Cerulli (Reader in Architecture, Sheffield Hallam University) and Dr Tilo Amhoff (Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Design, University of Brighton).
  4. The RIBA President's Awards for Research were established in 2006 in order to reward and encourage outstanding research in architecture carried out by students, academics and practitioners. The theme and dates for 2021 President’s Awards for Research will be announced in February 2021. For general enquiries about the President’s Awards for Research contact:
  5. Commendations were also given to the following projects:
  6. Climate Change:

    Cole Roskam, University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

    Constructing climate: The Hong Kong Observatory and meteorological networks within the British imperial sphere, 1842-1912

    Cities and Community:

    Alex Young Il Seo, University of Cambridge (UK)

    Constructing frontier villages: human habitation in the South Korean borderlands after the Korean War

    History and Theory:

    Jingru (Cyan) Cheng, Royal College of Art (UK)

    Alternative modernism: the architecture of China's people's commune

  7. RIBA Future Architects is our network and community for future and emerging architects, designed to support, inspire and provide a voice during the transition from study to practice. Follow us on Instagram @RIBAEducation for advice and information about studying architecture, exclusive events and opportunities.
  8. 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

Latest updates

keyboard_arrow_up To top