Architecture Design Scotland Chair, Scottish Executive, A+DS News

Architecture and Design Scotland : Chief Executive

‘Scottish CABE’ : Chief Exec + Cases

23 Feb 2005

Architecture and Design Scotland Chief Executive


A+DS Chief Executive

Raymond Young, the Chair of Architecture and Design Scotland, today announced the appointment of the first Chief Executive of the new public body which is being established as Scotland’s national champion for good architecture and design in the built environment.

The new Chief Executive is Sebastian Tombs, who has been Chief Executive / Secretary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) since 1995. The appointment is fulltime and permanent.

Sebastian Tombs is a qualified Chartered aArchitect who worked in Philadelphia, USA before settling in Scotland in 1975. His experience includes working in private practice, a community Housing Association, the Housing Corporation and Edinburgh District Council Housing Department.

He has worked for the RIAS since 1986, where he has been instrumental in the adoption of a new Charter and a partnership agreement with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); initiated the Accreditation Schemes for Building Conservation and Sustainable Building Design; supported and encouraged interdisciplinary working through the Urban Design Alliance (UDAL) and encouraged sketch competitions for members, students and schoolchildren in association with the annual RIAS Conventions.

Sebastian was founder (and is a past Chair) of the Scottish Ecological Design Association, and the Association of Planning Supervisors (now the Association for Project Safety). He has been the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for the Edinburgh North and Leith constituency in elections to both Scottish and Westminster Parliaments.

On his appointment Mr Tombs said ‘This is an exciting time for Scotland, with Architecture and Design Scotland forming the next key part of the Policy on Architecture and the planning policies matrix. With an able and talented board and an intelligent and responsive staff, I am looking forward to taking Architecture and Design Scotland into a brighter future for Scotland, where design becomes integral to quality placemaking and we witness fewer lost opportunities in our built environment. This is a challenge to relish!’

Architecture and Design Scotland is a new public body being established as the national champion for good architecture, design and planning in the built environment. The principal aim of the body will be to inspire better quality in design and architecture so that Scotland’s built environment contributes in a positive way to our quality of life and our built heritage.

Along with other activities, it will take over the independent design review role of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland (RFACS) from 1st April 2005. Architecture and Design Scotland will have a much wider proactive role in advocating the benefits of good design and architecture to a wide range of organisations at national, regional and local level.

Architecture and Design Scotland will operate as a Company Limited by Guarantee funded directly by the Executive. The Chair and Deputy Chairs will be the Directors of the company. Advisory Board Members will sit as the Design Review Panel and also as a Policy Board to advise the Directors and Chief Executive on policy and policy implementation.

Architecture and Design Scotland information from RIAS 230205

Sebastian Tombs appointed as Chief Executive of Architecture and Design Scotland

Sebastian Tombs has been appointed the new Chief Executive of Architecture and Design Scotland.

Sebastian Tombs is currently Chief Executive/Secretary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

The announcement was made by Raymond Young, the Chair of Architecture and Design Scotland on 24 Feb 2005.

Sebastian Tombs said: ‘Leaving the RIAS after 19 years will be a wrench – and I will miss my many friends and colleagues there. I am confident, though, that it is in the capable hands of a strong team, and in good shape to reposition itself and the profession in the light of the arrival of Architecture & Design Scotland. I look forward to working in a fruitful partnership with the RIAS and all the other bodies and agencies in the years ahead.’

Gordon Murray, RIAS President said: “In nineteen years at the RIAS, and in particular, his ten years as Secretary, Sebastian Tombs has been an effective administrator and a fine ambassador for Scots architects and the built environment.
Since Devolution and the establishing of the Architecture Policy the Incorporation has, by the efforts of consecutive Presidents, the Executive and Council, redefined the RIAS as the premier voice on architecture in Scotland.

In addition, we have reinforced links with compatible organisations such as The Lighthouse, RCAHMS, RTPI and RICS. With the formation of Architecture and Design Scotland as the body charged with raising quality in our places and spaces across the country and the appointment of Sebastian as its new Chief Executive and Raymond Young as its Chair, we have an opportunity to further develop those friendships.
It also presents the Council of RIAS with an opportunity to shift emphasis in strategic thinking, in the appointment of its new President and a new Chief Executive.

The consolidation achieved by a number of organisations working in harmony for the betterment of Scotland’s cultural as well as built environment, provides an opportunity for the RIAS to focus on further developments in the services which it offers members.
However, the challenges facing members are those facing modern Scotland…developing cultural awareness, business efficiency and confidence, design quality, sustainability are just some of those. The RIAS hopes that by forging a new relationship with A+DS, through Sebastian’s appointment, we can deliver innovative solutions to those challenges.’

Architecture and Design Scotland 0131 556 6699

Link: Scottish Architecture Policy

Location: Scotland

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