Stephen Hodder launches range of initiatives, including full review of design competitions run by the body, in effort to ‘cut wastage’
Incoming RIBA president Stephen Hodder has launched a raft of initiatives designed to help architects reconnect with their clients, including the commissioning of a full review of design competitions run by the body.
Hodder (pictured), who formally takes over from Angela Brady as president next week, has appointed Martin Knight of Knight Architects to chair a competition reform group, which he says will look at ways to “cut wastage in the system”.
The RIBA, which runs public architectural competitions for clients from an office in Leeds, has been criticised for the cost of competitions in recent months, particularly high profile instances where winning architects have not ultimately been selected for the scheme in question.
Hodder refused to say what the reform group is likely to recommend, but said his concerns were sparked by fears that the cost of competitions was outweighing their value on small projects.
It’s very important that my profession sees itself as part of a wider team. It’s about architects listening to clients
Stephen Hodder, RIBA
He said: “I do have a vision but I want it [the conclusion] to come out of the group. I don’t want to impose a view.”
He said the group will include high-profile architects such as David Chipperfield, and Bill Taylor, formerly of Hopkins, and would “look at the way we do competitions and how we might offer guidance to clients about how they might do it [themselves].”.
Hodder said the move is part of a wider drive to use the RIBA to help reconnect architects with their clients, with Nigel Ostime, director at Whiteroom Architecture, asked to run a client liaison group that will facilitate contact between clients and architects in key sectors.
In addition Hodder is looking to reform RIBA’s client advisory service, which recommends architects to potential clients, and which he said saw only 760 referrals last year, compared with in excess of 4,000 a year a decade ago.
Hodder said architects needed to listen more to the needs of their clients: “It’s very important that my profession sees itself as part of that wider team. It’s about architects listening to clients [about] what their requirements are.”
To read the full interview click here