Meet the RIBA Publishing team
Meet the RIBA publishing team and find out how they got their start, their favourite reads, and how they can help you with your own book ideas.
I got my first job in publishing in 1990 fresh from university, having written to every architecture magazine in the Authors’ and Writers’ Yearbook. Po-Mo was dying a slow death in the pages of Architectural Design (AD) and Tschumi’s Parc de La Villette and Zaha’s Vitra featured strongly. The first author I ever worked with was Denise Scott Brown. Previously Editor of AD at Wiley for 18 years, where I also commissioned their global architecture list, I joined the publishing department at RIBA in 2018. I am passionate about books and their power to influence culture, knowledge and society. At RIBA I have worked with the team to broaden the list’s scope from a single focus on professional books to become more international and diverse, including student, children’s and trade titles, setting up an ebook publishing partnership and to make the first forays into audiobooks. I believe that publishers need to lead as content creators by investing in editorial development and design, bringing authority and joy to readers. I am proud of the energy and enthusiasm that the team bring to publications at RIBA.
A building I love: Stephen Holl’s Chapel of St Ignatius in Seattle. It delivers atmospheric magic. Holl’s masterful manipulation of light in the interior raises you up. It has the immersive power of a medieval cathedral.
I got my first job in publishing as a fresh faced History of Art graduate in 2012 and joined RIBA Publishing as a Commissioning Editor in 2015. I work mostly on books related to building design, sustainability, conservation and cultural titles, as well as our new list of books for children and audiobooks. I love learning about architecture and design so it’s a real privilege to have a job where you’re allowed to read all day and explore new ideas, all in the name of research. One of the most rewarding aspects of working on a book is seeing an idea bloom into a physical object that will inspire and inform readers around the world, and it’s exciting to know how many hands – from the author to the editors, designers, production, marketing and retail experts – have worked together to make something brilliant.
A book I’d recommend: For young architecture explorers I’d suggest our new series of colouring books, Colour and Create Architecture, and for everyone else, I’d recommend Happy by Design: A Guide to Architecture and Mental Wellbeing by Ben Channon for a fun and insightful dip into how buildings and design can make us feel, and our Lives in Architecture series of autobiographies, which tell the inside story of some of our most celebrated designers.
I’ve been at RIBA Publishing since 2017, working on books across urban design, planning, construction contracts, health safety, and student guides. It’s fantastic working as part of a gifted publishing team to deliver beautifully designed books on the built environment. Over the years, we’ve produced a great array of titles – from practical guides to highly visual hardbacks. We’re lucky to have a vast amount of knowledge within the wider RIBA institute, allowing us to be well informed when coming up with book ideas and editing manuscripts. We put a lot of care into working collaboratively with authors, developing the content to its full potential. Working here has also prompted new interests and causes to promote, recently making me passionate about the need for more child friendly planning in cities. I’m constantly learning and love the feeling when a finished book finally arrives.
A book I'd recommend: A recent book I love is Complex City: London’s Changing Character, which gives a detailed outline of London’s layers with a strong argument for character-based development. There’s both great historical insight and a future vision, alongside beautiful maps and photography. It ticks all the boxes for me.
I’ve been at RIBA Publishing since 2019 and am proud to be part of a wonderful team. It’s really exciting to work with architects, designers, historians, and other experts within the built environment to share resources and knowledge through our books, and I get to learn so much along the way. So far, I’ve been lucky enough to work on incisive and inspiring titles that span topics from lighting design to marketing for architects to practical guides for students. I really enjoy the development stage and like to be quite hands on, editorially, but nothing beats getting to hold the physical book on publication day. I’ll consider any proposal but generally cover landscape design, interior design, business and project management. I’m particularly interested in previously overlooked histories and perspectives, new takes on evergreen topics, and innovative or radical strategies for practice.
A book I’d recommend I really enjoyed Taste: A cultural history of the home interior – it ties home trends together with historical context, and Drew Plunkett has a witty writing style that I just love. It has one of my favourite covers too.
I joined RIBA Publishing in May 2021 and love working with such a fantastic team on the exciting and varied list. As my degree and publishing background are both in the humanities, I enjoy the transdisciplinary aspect of publishing on architecture, as space and place cannot be separated from their social or political meaning. My aim in publishing is to get to a place where advocacy for social justice is at the core of what I do. Through collaboration with local communities, architects, and designers have the ability and responsibility to find creative solutions to various crises of social justice, be it climate or housing. It's therefore brilliant to be working somewhere pushing in that important direction, with books such as Everything Needs to Change: Architecture and the Climate Emergency. Working daily with authors and an experienced publishing team dedicated to creating important, beautiful books is inspiring.
A building I love: One of my favourite spaces in London is Libreria bookshop just off Brick Lane. Curved walls and yellow bookshelves extend upwards through the mirrored ceiling, whilst light from the street outside is reflected on the back wall. Both make the shop’s dimensions seemingly endless.
Head of Production
I have worked at RIBA Publishing since 2014 and oversee the production of 24 print and digital titles, the RIBA Journal and PiP supplement, Building Regulations, and RIBA Professional Services Contracts. It is a privilege to work with a talented group of people in both editorial and production. The publishing team is small and the variety of topics and material from our expert authors always keep it interesting. We have an impressive collective knowledge enabling us to create beautiful, and sustainably produced titles – using largely UK based printers. While the future in many ways will be digital, I am still firmly of the opinion that nothing quite beats a physical book.
A book I’d recommend: How to Extend your Victorian Terraced House is a beautiful book, published last year. From the hand drawn plans by the author, Jacqueline Green, to the gorgeous photography, it shows options for various sizes of Victorian Terraces (the UK’s most popular house type) floor by floor. I regularly pick it up to have another look. The textured cover stock and uncoated paper stock really enhance the fantastic content.
Senior Production Controller
I joined the RIBA Publishing production and design team in October 2017 following many years working in production and project management for independent publishers like Faber & Faber and The Folio Society. RIBA Publishing architecture books present their own set of production and design challenges with a myriad of different images, from detailed drawings of architectural plans to long distance photographs of sunlit sustainable buildings. It’s interesting to see a book through from manuscript to physical copy, to troubleshoot, manage expectations and forget all the stresses once the finished object is admired on a bookshelf. As well as working on the RIBA Publishing book list, I work on the RIBA Journal and Products in Practice.
A book that I’d recommend: One of the reasons I like Chroma by Derek Jarman – as a filmmaker’s and gardener’s meditation on the power of the colour spectrum in his life (this is the director of Blue after all), is its ability to relate the world of colour to my professional and poetical life. I admire this book’s lyricism, poignancy, historical detail and of course, as a book production person whenever I carry out colour correction to images, I am mindful of the limitations CMYK in a print world.
Production and Design Controller
I’ve been at RIBA Publishing since 2019 and I love working as part of such a talented team to realise the production and design of high quality books from manuscript through to publication. I have a keen interest in the built environment and its relationship with the community, sustainability and how we can minimise the impact on the natural environment, so I feel very lucky to work on inspiring titles that explore these topics. Print publications are fantastic vessels for communicating ideas, stories and information and I enjoy finding the connection between content, context and format. It really excites me to use good design and interesting materials to turn a manuscript into a beautifully printed object. I love that brilliant typography, interesting paper choice or a flash of foil can really help to enhance a book's content, bringing it to life.
A book I’d recommend: Design Studio Vol. 1: Everything Needs to Change is the first in our new thematic, multi-contributor series. It’s an important and inspiring exploration of architecture and the climate emergency. To help communicate the publication's message, the design is exciting and engaging, with clever use of colour and typography throughout. It’s also sustainably produced and printed, using recycled materials and vegetable-based inks.