The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) just announced the naming of six new Honorary Fellows. Each Fellow was recognized by the 105-year-old organization for making “significant contributions” to the country’s cultural, academic, commercial, and political life.
Chief among the list was 2023 Venice Biennale Curator Lesley Lokko, the Scottish-Ghanaian architect, academic, and novelist notable for her influential writing and advocacy work undertaken during her five-year tenure as Director of graduate studies at the University of Johannesburg and later turn as the Dean of the City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture.
Lokko was joined by influential author Annie Flint, an impassioned advocate for tenement communities in Scotland who has produced several useful and popular advice guides for tenants and homeowners alike.
She was followed by Professor Jason Leitch, CBE, a leading figure in Scotland’s response to Covid-19 and a longtime advisor on various government-led schemes to deliver more personalized NHS care to the country’s 5.4 million residents.
Leitch’s inclusion was added to by the presence of Daisy Narayanan, MBE, the current head of placemaking and mobility at the City of Edinburgh Council. Narayanan was formerly the director of urbanism at the pedestrian advocacy group Sustrans and has relied on her past professional experience working as an architect far afield to impart community-centered lessons about health and the wellbeing of the built environment into the public design culture of her own country.
She was joined finally by Architecture & Design Scotland chair Ann Allen, MBE, an “inspirational leader” known for advocating to include the Place Principle in public design; and Christine Murray, the founder of The Developer and a former editor of both the Architectural Review and the Architect’s Journal who helped to establish the influential W awards in addition to her continued attempt to “define what makes a city worth living in.”
“I am delighted that six such inspirational figures have accepted Honorary Fellowships of the RIAS,” the organization's President Christina Gaiger said of the field. “Between them, they have inspired and empowered people in Scotland and beyond, utilizing their experience and skills to make places and organizations more equitable and better for everyone. ”
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