'Plan better to stay relevant,' says RIBA presidential hopeful Picture 1

HTA managing partner Ben Derbyshire to stand in race to succeed Jane Duncan

Ben Derbyshire has said the RIBA needs a series of presidents all championing architectural quality for it to have more relevance in the future.

The managing partner of HTA was speaking as he announced details of his plan to succeed incumbent Jane Duncan when her tenure ends next year.

Derbyshire said he wants to introduce five-year plans for the RIBA and turn its Portland Place headquarters into an “international centre for architecture”.

Nominations to stand for the post close on May 25 and Derbyshire said: “I don’t underestimate the challenge and I believe it will take more than one term of presidency to make any impact.

“I’m hoping we can establish a sequence of presidents with a shared agenda which can harness the latent potential of the institute to increase the influence of architecture and architects on the quality and sustainability of the built environment.”

Candidates must receive 60 nominations from members of honorary fellows to be eligible to stand.

Derbyshire has been a RIBA council member for the past two years and added: “I did campaign for my national seat on council with an agenda for change at the Institute. I believe Jane Duncan has made a great start with that.”

Two years ago, Derbyshire called for restrictions on who could run for president to be limited to members who had already been elected to the organisation’s council.

At the time Derbyshire said that any president who is elected can find themselves in a position of inheriting four or five-year business plans which they may not support.

The new RIBA president is expected to be named in July.

Tim Clark, Building Design 07.04.16


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