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Open Call for experts on planning, conservation and small practice

Open Call for experts on planning, conservation, large practice and small practice

The RIBA is looking for new members for its Expert Advisory Groups from 2018 onwards. This is a chance to help inform RIBA policy positions, training and guidance for members and RIBA event programming.

Places are becoming available on the Planning Group, Conservation Group, Large Practice Group and Small Practice Group.

Members with specialist expertise in planning, conservation or managing a large practice or small practice, are invited to apply to share their knowledge and experience with RIBA staff and fellow members on the advisory groups. Membership is for a minimum term of two years and up to six years.

The Planning Group is frequently consulted by the RIBA’s policy team on planning and housing related Government consultations as well as RIBA reports and campaigns. The group also plays a key role in helping the RIBA publish practical advice and shape its CPD offer for architects on navigating the planning system.

Outgoing chair Ruth Reed says the group has proved an excellent way to share knowledge and influence change in the planning system.

Advisory Group members at a Meet and Greet event at the RIBA last year. Photo © RIBA

Architect/planner and Past President of the RTPI Colin Haylock joined the group to help develop and broaden understanding at the interface between architecture and planning.

‘I have found the group, with its diverse membership, to be very helpful in this, from unpacking and trying to address concerns about the workings of the planning system as it impacts upon everyday practice through to working, often with other parties, in responding to consultations or lobbying for constructive change,’ says Haylock.

Conservation Group members are at the centre of discussions on current conservation issues, such as the application of BIM in heritage projects. The group champions high standards in conservation practice and the role of Conservation Architects within the RIBA and the wider industry. Specialist groups like this are key to informing RIBA guidance documents, education and CPD Curriculum.

As an assessor on the accreditation panel for the RIBA Conservation Register, Fiona Raley finds that being a group member has provided a valuable bridge between the two groups for reviewing and retaining quality and standards and encouraging new conservation specialists.

Fellow Conservation Group member Alan Chandler says working ‘within’ the RIBA offers a new perspective to working for a professional institution.

‘Contributing to the debates behind policy with colleagues with diverse and engaging experience has been personally and professionally rewarding, touching as it does on education and practice to develop the voice of the RIBA on matters of heritage and place,’ says Chandler.

Meanwhile the Small Practice Group (SPG) is focussed on the business and practice needs of small architecture businesses across the RIBA regions and on giving them a voice at national level.

The SPG advises the RIBA on process and practice management issues to help set standards, provide guidance and promote development in practice to remain viable in the shifting market conditions, helping to advance the architectural profession and promote good practice.

Activities range from helping shape the programme for the RIBA’s annual Guerrilla Tactics conference, developing mentoring and networking opportunities for small practices to recent input in the RIBA policy positions on Brexit.

For the past couple of years the SPG has also been working with the public programmes team on a series of site-specific installations that forms part of Architecture Open 2017, this year on the theme of ‘Beyond Borders’.

‘For me the mission of the SPG is to support small practices and encourage them to be proactive in order to thrive, says group member Petra Marko.

‘Guerrilla tactics and other events organised by the SPG provide a platform for small practices to cross-pollinate, to evaluate themselves amongst their peers, get more exposure and obtain hands-on advice on how to develop their business.’

In particular, Marko joined the group to explore how the RIBA can support small practices to undertake research, as this is usually the domain of larger practices with better access to funding.

‘Alongside day-to-day work within practice, it is a nice way to spend time with fellow architects, considering the challenges our industry faces and how the group can help support small practices in overcoming them,’ says Marko.

The Open Call for RIBA Advisory Membership runs until 18 September 2017. Membership is mainly made up of RIBA members, but may be open to relevant experts in other professions. Groups meet three times a year at RIBA headquarters, with travel expenses reimbursed for those travelling from outside London.

Individual application forms for Planning Group, Conservation Group, Large Practice Group and Small Practice Group give more information on the scope of their work.

Thanks to Ruth Reed, Director, Green Planning Studio Ltd; Colin Haylock, Director, Haylock Planning and Design; Fiona Raley, Specialist Conservation Architect, Studio Sam Causer; Alan Chandler, Director, Arts Lettres Techniques; Petra Marko, Co-founder, Marko and Placemakers Ltd.

Text by Neal Morris. This is a ‘Practice News’ post edited by the RIBA Practice team. The team would like to hear your feedback and ideas for Practice News: practice@riba.org.

Posted on 7 September 2017.

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