RIBA Honorary Fellowships 2021 Awards, Winning Architects News, Architecture

2021 RIBA Honorary Fellowships

29 Oct 2020

RIBA Honorary Fellows 2021 News

Thursday 29th October 2020 – The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce the 2021 RIBA Honorary Fellowships, which will be awarded to individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, including property, politics, infrastructure, arts and business.

RIBA 2021 Honorary Fellowships Winners News

RIBA Honorary Fellowships are awarded annually to people who have made a significant contribution to architecture. This includes individuals who have advanced its role in creating more sustainable communities and supporting equity and inclusion; those involved in its promotion and management, and those who nurture future generations.

The 2021 RIBA Honorary Fellowships will be awarded to:

  • Laura Allen and Mark Smout – Professors Laura Allen and Mark Smout are a teaching and architectural research partnership based at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Their contribution has been impactful and wide ranging, helping to develop and inspire architects around the world.
  • Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape – Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape is a spoken word performer and UK architecture’s first poet in residence. Drawing on personal experiences, observations and conversations with architects, his poetry explores memory, mental health and our collective relationship with the built environment.
  • Marc Dubois – Marc Dubois is an eminent critic and lecturer on architecture in Belgium. Having written for leading architectural journals in Europe, his critical reflections have promoted the unique values of contemporary Flemish architecture and helped to re-position the country’s architecture.
  • Theaster Gates – Theaster Gates is an American artist and social innovator whose work includes sculpture, ceramics, performance and urban preservation. Drawing on his training in urban planning, he created the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit platform for art, cultural development and neighbourhood transformation in his hometown Chicago.
  • Sandra Halliday – An early pioneer of sustainable architecture, engineer Professor Sandra Halliday has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and understanding of green construction methods. Running a research and consultancy practice, she has authored guidance around passive design, building physics and sustainability.
  • Fiona Jarvis – Fiona Jarvis is founder and CEO of Blue Badge Style, a website and app designed to provide information for people with mobility issues. Fiona Jarvis is a powerful advocate for the relationship between good design, accessibility and the built environment.
  • Kenneth Kinsella – Director of Capital Projects at the London School of Economics (LSE), Kenneth Kinsella is an exemplar client and champion of good architecture. His legacy is demonstrated through the procurement, construction and promotion of world class buildings in the regeneration of LSE.
  • Rowan Moore – Rowan Moore, architecture critic for The Observer, is one of the UK’s best-known writers and critics on architecture. His distinct knowledge and understanding of architecture, combined with his strength as a communicator, make him a uniquely influential figure.
  • Marvin Rees – As Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees founded a city owned housing company to develop and build homes. He has overseen a major housebuilding programme, increased the percentage of affordable homes and embarked on the largest council house building scheme for over 35 years.
  • Roni Savage – Engineering geologist, Roni Savage is founder of Jomas Associates, a consultancy specialising in geotechnics and contaminated land. As a black woman working in a male-dominated industry, Roni advocates for gender diversity and social mobility through mentoring and campaigning.
  • Sheela Søgaard – Sheela Søgaard is CEO and Partner of global architecture practice BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. Overseeing finances and operations, she has developed BIG into one of the world’s major practices. Implementing robust parental policies, she has put an equitable meritocracy at the heart of the company.

The full biographies and committee citations are in the notes to editors.

Further Information

  • Honorary Fellowships are awarded by the RIBA each year to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the quality of architecture, the achievements of the profession and the aims and objectives of the RIBA. Any person who is not an architect may be nominated by RIBA members and elected as an Honorary Fellow. The lifetime honour allows recipients to use the initials Hon FRIBA after their name.
  • The 2021 RIBA Honours Committee who selected the 2021 Honorary Fellows was chaired by RIBA President Professor Alan Jones, alongside architects Professor Lesley Lokko, Professor Dorte Mandrup and Professor Shelley McNamara and structural engineer Professor Hanif Kara.
  • 2021 RIBA Honorary Fellow biographies, with citations in bold:

Professor Laura Allen and Professor Mark Smout

Professor Laura Allen and Professor Mark Smout
photo : Graham Atkins-Hughes Photography

Educators

Professor Laura Allen and Professor Mark Smout have been teaching architectural design for more than 20 years. Located at the Bartlett School of Architecture they teach MArch Architecture Unit 11. Together they established and direct the School’s new Landscape Architecture Masters Programmes. Their design research practice, Smout Allen, has lectured and exhibited around the world.

In both practice and teaching they are concerned with architecture’s relationship with the environment, long-term landscape processes and the dynamics of a changing world. Their teaching is noted for supporting students in individual and diverse architectural agendas making connections between architecture and disciplines across the humanities, sciences and the arts to build a speculative environmental or research and design. Their students regularly are the recipients of national and international awards.

In 2005, they won the ‘Award for Architecture’ at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show. They have successfully carried out collaborations with international individuals and institutions such as the University of Southern California Libraries, Williams F1 Advanced Engineering, the Centre for Land Use Interpretation, Los Angeles, the British Council and the Land Art Archive, Nevada. They have been selected for the Venice Biennale in 2012, 2016 and 2021, and the inaugural Chicago Biennale in 2015.

Citation:

Professors Laura Allen and Mark Smout are a teaching and architectural research partnership based at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. They are nationally and internationally recognised as leading educators and architectural thought leaders of their generation and in demand as visiting lecturers and professors oversees. As teachers, design researchers and curators, Laura and Mark’s contribution to architectural education has been impactful and wide ranging. As highly engaged and inspirational teachers, they have helped develop and continue to inspire a generation of architects around the world.

Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape

Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape
photo : Anthony Coleman

Poet

Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape is a TEDx speaker, BBC Radio London presenter and award-winning poet. He is the first poet in residence at the Saatchi Gallery, Grimshaw Architects and various other firms internationally, exploring Architecture & Poetry’s relationship around emotional inhabitance, and its connection to memory and mental health.

He has been a guest speaker at the Royal College of Arts, Snøhetta (Oslo), Fosters & Partners (London) and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) for their Copenhagen and London offices.

His journey to Japan, as an extension to his Arts Council England funded research, allowed him to conduct brief residencies and workshops with Tezuka Architects, Junya Ishigami and TATO architects. He was later commissioned to write and perform a response to Kengo Kuma’s ‘Weaving into Lightness’ at the V&A, where he held a Q&A with the architect. He has previously been Guest Editor for the Wellcome Collection in relation to their ‘Living with Buildings’ exhibition.

LionHeart, is winner of the Skiagraphia Prize by ‘a+dff’ (Architecture + Design Film Festival) in collaboration with Jim Stephenson.

Citation:

International spoken word performer and social entrepreneur, Rhael ‘LionHeart’ Cape has carved out his own niche as UK architecture’s first poet in residence. He has worked with leading architectural practices and institutions including Grimshaw Architects, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and the Building Centre. Drawing on personal experiences, observations and conversations with architects, his poetry explores architecture’s connection to memory and mental health and our collective relationship with the built environment. He is a fantastic role model for the next generation and strengthens the links between architecture and poetry.

Marc Dubois

Marc Dubois
photo courtesy of RIBA

Architecture Critic

Marc Dubois was Professor at the Faculty of Architecture KU Leuven in Ghent and Brussels from 1979 to 2015. He has complemented his academic training and work with conferences and courses and has worked in the conservation of architectural archives. In 1983 he and Christian Kieckens established the Stichting Architektuurmuseum. Since 2015 he has been President of DOCOMOMO Belgium and in 2018 he was awarded the Ultima Prize in the category of Architecture in recognition of his long professional career.

In his academic work, his articles on Le Corbusier, Carlo Mollino and Álvaro Siza have appeared in numerous publications and he has written several books about other architects, notable amongst which are a monograph on the work of Albert van Huffel (Snoeck-Ducaju, 1983), on Álvaro Siza, titled Álvaro Siza: Inside the city (Whitney Library of Design, 1998), and on the work of Vincent van Duysen (Thames & Hudson, 2015). He has been on the editorial board on the magazine ARCHIS and also of the Flanders Architectural Yearbook and was also a curator of the exhibition “Architects from Flanders” at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 1991 and “Arquitectura de Flandes” (Architecture of Flanders) in Barcelona.

In 2019 he curated an exhibition about the reconstruction of Ostend 1944-1958. He is author of the recent monographs Gaston Eysselinck 1907-1953 and In the footprints of Le Corbusier.

Citation:

Marc Dubois is an eminent critic and lecturer on architecture in Belgium. Having written for most of the leading architectural journals in Europe during his career, he is an influential figure on the international architecture scene. Marc’s focus has always been outward-looking, promoting the unique values of contemporary Flemish architecture. He is credited for helping to create the conditions that enabled many famous architecture practices of today to grow and flourish. His tireless international networking, promotion, documentation and critical reflection has transformed and re-positioned the country’s architecture.

Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates
photo : Sara Pooley

Artist

Theaster Gates lives and works in Chicago. Gates creates works that engage with space theory and land development, sculpture and performance. Drawing on his interest and training in urban planning and preservation, Theaster redeems spaces that have been left behind. Known for his recirculation of art- ‐ world capital, Gates creates work that focuses on the possibility of the “life within things.” His work contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise – one defined by collective desire, artistic agency, and the tactics of a pragmatist.

In 2010, Theaster created the Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation that supports artists and strengthens communities through free arts programming and innovative cultural amenities on Chicago’s South Side.

Theaster is a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts and the Harris School of Public Policy and is Distinguished Visiting Artist and Director of Artist Initiatives at the Lunder Institute for American Art at Colby College.

Citation:

Theaster Gates is an American artist, social innovator and a professor in the Department of Visual Arts and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. His work includes sculpture, ceramics, performance and urban preservation. Drawing on his training in urban planning, in 2010, Theaster created the Rebuild Foundation, a non-profit platform for art, cultural development and neighbourhood transformation that supports artists and strengthens communities through free arts programming and innovative cultural amenities on Chicago’s South Side.

Professor Sandra Halliday CEng MCIBSE Hon FRIAS

Professor Sandra Halliday
photo : M Gower

Engineer

Sandra Halliday is a chartered engineer and highly respected thought leader, author and communicator with extensive experience of inter-disciplinary working. She has researched built environment issues and provided sustainability advice to the private, public and third sector since 1986.  She established Gaia Research (now Gaia Group Ltd) in 1995 to develop sustainable solutions for the built environment. Her portfolio embraces research, evaluation, dissemination, training and capacity building.

Her research embraces animal architecture, appraisal techniques, building physics, circular economy, dynamic insulation, low allergy housing, low impact materials, solar air conditioning, policy, process, and urban ecology. Capacity building involves assisting procurement of best value, healthy, resource efficient buildings.

As Professor of Engineering Design for Sustainable Development she developed training for students and professionals. This became the highly acclaimed Sustainable Construction, 2nd Edition, with 120 best practice case studies.

She authored the RIAS Environmental Statement and conceived the Accreditation Scheme in Sustainable Design. A past Chair of the Scottish Ecological Design Association, she organises an annual lecture on eco-pioneers in memory of its founder, her late husband Howard Liddell, author of Eco-minimalism – the Antidote to Ecobling.

She teaches on the Energy & Environment Programme at the University of Oslo International Summer School.

Citation:

As an early pioneer of sustainable architecture, engineer Sandra Halliday has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion and understanding of green construction methods. Having established her own research and consultancy practice, Gaia Research, in the 1990s, to develop sustainable solutions for the built environment, she has facilitated collaborative working with architectural, engineering, urban design and landscape practices across Europe. She has been at the forefront of best practice in sustainable construction, authoring guidance, books and papers around passive design, building physics and sustainability.

Fiona Jarvis

Fiona Jarvis
photo courtesy of RIBA

Advocate

Fiona Jarvis worked as a sales executive/manager for various software companies successfully selling multi-million-pound systems. Becoming progressively disabled she made sure, when taking clients to the latest restaurant or bar, that venues had the appropriate accessibility & facilities. Realising this information was of use to other people she developed the website BlueBadgeStyle.com, founded in 2007.

Blue Badge Style (BBS) is ‘re-defining disability with style’ and provides information from reviews of stylish venues to promoting cutting-edge equipment. They were awarded the 2014 EIB Social Innovation Award and the Design Council’s SPARK Award for a range of inclusive accessories for people who ‘have their hands full – from wheelchairs to buggies’. Known as the ADDITI+ON Collection, the first product is DRINK, a universal glass holder. In 2018 she co-founded the Blue Badge Access Awards – ‘inspiring better design, celebrating exceptional venues and improving accessibility for all’.

Citation:

Fiona Jarvis is founder and CEO of Blue Badge Style, a website and app designed to provide information for people with mobility and accessibility issues. She has an ambition to ensure that people with accessibility issues can have positive, fashionable and elegant experiences, demonstrating that ‘style and disability are not mutually exclusive’. Her organisation advises and encourages businesses to design inclusive public buildings from hospitality to the workplace, setting up a rating system, to mark quality. She is the embodiment of ‘ableness’ and a powerful advocate for the relationship between good design, accessibility and the built environment.

Kenneth Kinsella

Kenneth Kinsella
photo courtesy of RIBA

Director of Capital Projects at the London School of Economics (LSE)

Kenneth Kinsella works at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences as the Director of Capital Develop within the Estates Division. Kenneth started his career in 1989 with Lewis & Hickey Architects and with two other universities: Queen Mary University (QMUL) from 1993 to 2005 and as the Head of Projects at the University of East London (UEL) from 2005 to 2008.

Notable achievements are the completion of a student village with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, New Academic Building with Grimshaw Architects, the O’Donnell+Tuomey shortlisted 2014 RIBA Stirling Prize Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, the 2018 Centre Buildings with Rogers Stirk Harbour+Partners and the £145m Marshall Building with Grafton Architects.

In 2016 Kenneth became the inaugural Chair of the Capital Group within AUDE (Association of University Directors of Estates) covering the whole of the UK.

Citation:

Director of Capital Projects at the London School of Economics (LSE), Kenneth Kinsella has contributed to the world of architecture through the procurement, construction and promotion of world class buildings. An exemplar client and champion of good architecture and urban design, he recognises the value of investment in architecture at all stages of the project, from Design Competition through to Project Completion. The legacy of his commitment is demonstrated by the substantial regeneration of LSE, contributing to the creation of a new ‘Educational Quarter’ for London, which help attract and inspire high calibre students, staff and researchers.

Rowan Moore

Rowan Moore
photo courtesy of RIBA

Architecture critic and writer

Rowan Moore is one of the UK’s longest-standing architecture critics. Since 2010 he has been architecture critic for The Observer and has previously served as critic for the Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph. He was editor of Blueprint magazine from 1994-97.

He was director of the Architecture Foundation (2002-8). He has curated exhibitions and worked as visiting critic and lecturer at several schools of architecture, both in the UK and abroad. He has written for both specialist and general publications in a number of countries, and broadcast on TV and radio. Published books include Why We Build (2012) and Slow Burn City: London in the 21st Century (2016). In 2014 he was named Critic of the Year in the Society of Editors’ UK Press Awards, the only writer on architecture to have received this prize. Why We Build received the international Bruno Zevi Book Award, also in 2014.

Rowan has an M.A. and a diploma in architecture from St John’s College, Cambridge (1979-85). He was a founding partner (1990-4) of Zombory-Moldovan Moore architects, now ZMMA.  In 2018 he received an honorary doctorate (DCL) from the University of East Anglia. He has been chair and jury member for major architectural competitions and awards.

Citation:

Rowan Moore is one of the UK’s best-known writers and critics on architecture. As the current architecture critic for The Observer, his articles on architecture and urbanism reach a wide audience. He has been steeped in the cutting edge of design and major architectural issues of the day all his professional life, having previously worked in other high-profile architecture and press organisations. His distinct knowledge and understanding of architecture, combined with his strength as a communicator and ability to present an understanding of the complex issues facing the architectural profession, make him a uniquely influential figure.

Marvin Rees

Marvin Rees Bristol
photo : Bristol Design

City-maker

Marvin Rees was elected Mayor of Bristol in May 2016, the first black mayor of a major European city.

His working life began at Tearfund, before working with Sojourners in Washington, DC and President Clinton’s advisor, Dr Tony Campolo. On returning to the UK he was a broadcast journalist at BBC Bristol, worked at the Black Development Agency supporting the BME-led voluntary sector and worked on delivering race equality in mental health with NHS Bristol’s Public Health team.

He holds two Master’s Degrees in Political Theory and Government and in Global Economic Development. He is a Yale World Fellow and co-founded the City Leadership Programme. He entered the political world having graduated from Operation Black Vote and Labour Future Candidate programmes.

During his first term in office he has delivered almost 7,000 homes, announced the development of a mass transit system, provided quality work experience for over 3,500 children, developed the One City Plan, successfully bid to bring Channel 4 to Bristol and is leading the city’s response to both the climate and ecological emergencies.

Citation:

As Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees has founded a city owned housing company, Goram Homes, to develop and build homes, which re-invests profits into the development of affordable and social housing. He has also overseen the building of almost 7,000 homes in a major housebuilding programme, increased the percentage of affordable homes in the city and has embarked on the largest council house building scheme for over 35 years, part of realising his ambition to build a fairer and more inclusive city.

Roni Savage BEng(hons) MSc CGeol CEng FICE MSOE SiLC MCIWM FGS

Roni Savage
photo : Barbara Leatham

Engineering Geologist

Roni Savage is a chartered engineer, chartered geologist and a Specialist in Land Condition.

Formerly Associate Director of one of the UK’s largest engineering firms, she established Jomas Associates in 2009, a company serving land developers across the UK, which undertakes site investigations, geotechnical engineering and environmental surveys for construction projects.

In an industry where only 12% of the workforce is female, Roni is passionate about gender diversity and social mobility, volunteering her time to mentor and coach others. Driven by her own experience of being the rare black woman in her position, Roni has been instrumental in advocating diversity in business, engineering and construction. She runs the largest engineering company formed by a black woman in the UK.

She was invited to the Fellowship of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in 2019 and appointed Policy Chair for Construction at the Federation of Small Businesses in January 2020.

A regular speaker on matters relating to diversity in business, she is currently an ambassador for the Start Her Enterprise programme which was set up to empower and enable women from underprivileged backgrounds to succeed as entrepreneurs, and advises the Mayor’s Fund for London on matters relating to social mobility.

Citation:

Roni Savage is a chartered engineering geologist and founder of Jomas Associates, an engineering consultancy specialising in the field of geotechnics and contaminated land. She works with land developers, local authorities and government bodies, providing geotechnical and environmental engineering services on construction projects across the UK. As a black woman working in a male-dominated industry, Roni takes an active role in advocating for diversity, mentoring and campaigning to get more women into a sector where only 12% of the workforce are female.

Sheela Søgaard

Sheela Søgaard BIG
photo : Flemming Leitorp

CEO and Partner

Sheela Søgaard is a Partner and CEO of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. As CEO, Sheela is responsible for the overall growth and general management of BIG’s global studio of 500+ designers and support functions. Her responsibilities include operations, finances, business and organizational development. Since joining BIG in August 2008, her focus has been on optimizing and streamlining operations and management at BIG to create a sustainable, scalable company poised for growth with an agenda to contribute positively to architectural and urban development.

Sheela’s focus at BIG has evolved over the past +12 years since she joined BIG, beginning with the task of running BIG’s office of 45 employees in Copenhagen alongside founder Bjarke Ingels, to now building and evolving the infrastructure that BIG’s +500 employees create and work within across locations in Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona. Sheela is passionate about building a platform that allows creatives their fair share of the value they contribute to creating in city block and urban developments. Working closely with Founder and creative visionary, Bjarke Ingels, Sheela remains focused on developing the operational platform and maintaining the outlook that will support BIG’s growth into new typologies, markets and planets.

Citation:

Sheela Søgaard is CEO and Partner of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, one of the world’s major architecture practices, with offices in Copenhagen, New York, London and Barcelona. Sheela oversees BIG’s finances, operations and business development and is credited with turning the company into the global design business that it is today. She has implemented an equitable meritocracy at the heart of the company, committing to robust parental policies and continually shining a light on the work which still needs to be done in the industry.

2021 RIBA Honorary Fellowships information from Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on 291020

Previously on e-architect:

RIBA Honorary Fellowships

RIBA Honorary Fellowships Archive

RIBA 2020 Honorary Fellowships Winners News

Pam Alexander OBE
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RIBA 2020 Honorary Fellowships

RIBA 2018 Honorary Fellowships

RIBA Honorary Fellowship 2017 for Nathalie Weadick

RIBA Honorary Fellowships 2014 : Citations

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