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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.

Senior team

Helen Castle

Helen Castle

Publishing Director

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.

Editorial team

Woman with long blonde hair and thick frame glasses

Liz Webster

Senior Commissioning Editor

I’ve been in the publishing industry for 16 years, and joined RIBA Publishing in 2015. During my history degree, I found that I was increasingly drawn to choosing architecturally-focused options, and developed a real love for architectural history. It meant that I jumped at the chance to join RIBA! I oversee the editorial team, and also commission my own books, specialising in interior design, project management and technology titles. The best bit about editorial is working with authors to craft proposals, and then collaborating during the writing process. I love how the tiniest germ of an idea springs into life and becomes a book – it’s always new, different and exciting.

A book I'd recommend: One of my favourite parts of the job is working on books that materially improve the day-to-day jobs of architects. Jan Knikker’s How To Win Work is one of those books: a riotous explanation from one of the best architectural publicists on how architects can harness their talents to market themselves better and – most importantly – get more work.

Alex White

Alex White

Commissioning Editor

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.

Clare Holloway

Clare Holloway

Associate Commissioning Editor

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.

Production team

Richard Blackburn

Richard Blackburn

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.

Jane Rogers

Jane Rogers

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.

Sarah-Louise Deazley

Sarah-Louise Deazley

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.

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