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RIBA South West Ask an Architect - guide to sessions

RIBA South West provides guidance on the format of Ask an Architect sessions across the region

23 January 2019

Aims and objectives

The aim of RIBA Ask an Architect is to establish consistent, monthly dates and venues that members of the public can associate with obtaining architectural advice, as well as to promote using an architect from RIBA Chartered Practice and the profession.

The organisations with which we currently partner on this activity in the South West are:

The architect hosting the session kindly gives up their valuable time with the aim of promoting the profession, the RIBA and in addition hopefully obtaining valuable leads and connections.

The sessions provide the opportunity for the event partner to promote the architect or practice ahead of the event.

One architect/practice is featured each month in the Bath and Bristol locations and 2 at each session at Swindon.

At the Homebuilding and Renovating Show, we can offer this opportunity to 12 architects across the show weekend.

The partnering organisations and centres benefit from the events by additional footfall to their venue and increased public awareness of their services.

To cover their organisational and marketing costs, the centres in Bath and Bristol request a small voluntary donation from members of the public booking a session. The centres administrate this aspect separately via online bookings through Eventbrite.


  • Sessions are held monthly - Friday afternoons in Bristol, Saturday mornings at Bath and Swindon and all-day Saturday and Sunday at Homebuilding & Renovating Show
  • Sessions typically consist of between 6-10 appointments, 25-30 minute time slots with Consumer show slots at 15 minutes due to volume and demand for appointments
  • Time slots are booked in advance by members of the public directly with the venue
  • Booking are managed by the partnering centres
  • The centres will send brief information to the attending architect in advance of the session about what each visitor is wishing to discuss during their appointment apart from Homebuilding and Renovating Show where walk-in appointments are booked on the day
  • Sessions are run under the rules of the RIBA Code of Practice for Chartered Practices


RIBA South West manage the overall process, the calendar of sessions and book the architect initially. After which, liaison is typically followed up by the venue with further information and the booking sheet for the day.

What to bring

We suggest that you may want to bring a laptop to aid your sessions. The venues all provide free Wi-Fi. We ask that you bring with you all materials that you may need, such as pens, pencils and paper or tracing paper.


The architect in question will be publicised on the partnering centres' websites, some partner newsletters and through social media by the partner and RIBA. We therefore ask you to supply the following ahead of the sessions:

  • A brief synopsis of your practice (approx. 50 - 100 words) by means of a short introduction
  • One headshot image - this is just for publicity reasons and to accompany the text on some of the partner websites only

Some of the venues may take photographs during the sessions. The permission of visitors is asked either on the day or via the booking portal, and your permission also when agreeing to attend a session.

The photographs are used to publicise future RIBA Ask an Architect events on posters and web listings.


All architects attending must carry Personal Indemnity Insurance to cover any advice given. This insurance should either be personal insurance or provided through the practice they are employed by. No liability will reside with venues or the RIBA for professional advice provided by the attending architect. All liability will rest with the hosting architect in question. By accepting to host a session it is considered that you agree to these terms.

For further information please contact Vikki Schwalb at the RIBA South West office on or tel: 0117 972 3777.

Barefoot Architects at Ask an Architect at The Architecture Centre, Bristol. Image © The Architecture Centre, Bristol

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