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Talks and lectures

RIBA Annual Emerging Practice Symposium

The first RIBA Annual Emerging Practice Symposium which brings together sole practitioners and micro, small and emerging practices from around the country. Our morning of member and peer led talks and discussions will cover a range of topics to offer guidance, networking and support relevant to your day to day work.

Join our first RIBA Annual Emerging Practice Symposium, bringing together sole practitioners and micro, small and emerging practices from around the country. Our morning of member and peer-led talks and discussions will cover a range of topics to offer guidance, networking and support relevant to your day to day work.


9:15am - Welcome and introductions

  • Sasha Edmonds, Liv Architects - Co-Chair, RIBA Small & Emerging Practice Network, East of England
  • Simon Allford, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris - RIBA President
  • Tom Foggin, RH Partnerships - RIBA Vice President Membership

9:35am - Writing a specification: template and document resources

  • Dr Stephen Hamill, NBS
  • Jeremy Foster, J Foster Architects

NBS have created Chorus Small Works - a cloud-based specification platform that can be accessed through any web browser or handheld device. The ‘Small Works’ version of Chorus contains template specifications and technical guidance from NBS that has been researched and authored to be tailored to the needs of the small practice.

J Foster Architects is a London-based practice founded by Jeremy Foster, that predominantly delivers small residential projects such as conversions, extensions and renovations. The practice has used the NBS Building software for many years but has recently migrated to NBS Chorus Small Works. Jeremy will share his experience of NBS Chorus Small Works.

10:20am - Running small projects: ‘small and successful’

  • Sam Goss, Barefoot Architects

Sam is the Founding Director of Barefoot Architects. He will discuss the practices' approach to delivering small projects successfully - from inception to completion, and how these can be used as a platform leading to larger schemes. Barefoot Architects are a RIBA Chartered Practice based in Bristol at the Paintworks Creative Quarter. Their vision is to empower everyone to design and build their own sustainable, affordable home. The practice helps individuals and communities co-design projects, enabling them to achieve their dreams and aspirations for self-build eco-homes, community-led, and affordable co-housing projects.

11:15am - Insurance: what's needed for a new or micro practice?

  • Paul Dinwoodie LLB ACII, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Paul is an Executive Director responsible for the large business unit within the Professional Indemnity team at Gallagher. His 25 years in insurance has been entirely within the professional risks sector predominantly focussed on placing complex construction related risks. Paul also advises the RIBA Insurance Agency Board on insurance market developments and technical policy points. Paul will discuss insurance trends, how to find the cover that is right for you, what you should be talking to your insurer about and whether there’s a way to lower your insurance costs!

11:55am - Fees and getting paid for the work you do

  • Clare Nash, Clare Nash Architecture
  • Tomas Millar, Millar Howard Workshop

Clare, Founding Director at Clare Nash Architecture, describes herself as an architect creating dream eco-homes, barn conversions plus environmental and community focused housing schemes. Clare’s practice became an early adopter of flexible home working, tiering of services and chose to publish their fee structures openly. Clare will discuss client relationships, the pros and cons of publishing fees structures and why winning and losing work isn’t always fee related. Clare will delve into getting the fee ‘right’ and how to avoid discounting and lowering the value of your services.

Tomas, Co-Founder of Millar + Howard Workshop and RIBA Guerrilla Tactics Creative Director, has found considerable success in practice, winning awards and founding a business spin-off for custom build development, all while pushing the boundaries and exploring the scope for digital technologies to transform everyday practice. Tomas believes that if you’re winning more than a third of the work you’re bidding for, you’re not charging enough and he will share his experience of introducing service level agreements and being specific about project deliverables. Tomas will share details of some new fee bidding tools that he’s created.

12:40pm - Summary of topics, general Q&A and group networking

1:05pm - Closing comments and thanks

This is a collaborative event designed for delegates to share thoughts and experiences, ask questions of peers and experts, and maybe even offer their own advice!

If you have any questions, please email Juliet Talbot.