02-04 March 2021 / ExCeL, London
Tue & Wed 10:00 – 18:00, Thu 10:00 – 16:00

Case Study: RIBA Young Architects

28 Feb 2020

Case Study: RIBA Young Architects

Case Study: RIBA Young Architects

There’s no question that young people have been instrumental in driving change when it comes to tackling the climate and ecological emergency. It will be no different at Futurebuild 2020.

‘Let’s hear it from young people’ will form a key part of the Arena programme on the third day of the event (03 March). The session, developed with Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS)UK and the Edge, will allow young people to put forward their proposals for living in a zero-carbon world.

With this in mind, we speak to Amber Luscombe, a member of Scott Brownrigg’s Future Architects Forum, and Felicity Meares, one of RIBA’s Rising Stars 2019 on why they’re looking forward to attending Futurebuild for the first time and why they’re encouraging other young people to attend.

Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
Amber Luscombe: I’ve been a Project Architect in London for a year in the commercial sector. I used to work in Cardiff studio in the education sector. I’m now running a project for the refurbishment of a 6-storey office building in central London which takes up most of my time, but I spend a lot of my other time doing competitions and also taking part in the Future Architects Forum.

Felicity Meares: I am an Associate Architect in the Guildford studio, and over the past 6 years I’ve been working in the commercial and education team. I recently completed work on the St George’s College Activity Centre, which has a stand-out, large timber roof, and I’m currently working on a biomedical lab building in Cambridge which is taking up most of my time at the minute.

What made you want to attend Futurebuild? What are the main factors that made you want to register?
AL: As Scott Brownrigg have signed the Architects Declare pledge and the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge, as a practice we are hugely focusing on meeting these targets. The opportunity to focus on sustainability at Futurebuild will be really interesting, and I’m looking forward to hearing the seminars and the talks.

FM: The conference will be a good starting point to hear what’s going on in the industry. We’re embedding sustainability into the heart of our practice, and how we will achieve climate targets is being talked about more and more throughout our projects and meetings.  

What are you looking to get out of Futurebuild? Can you tell us about the change you’re looking to make?
AL: There’s so much information out there, it can feel quite overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start in making these changes. I’m hoping to learn things that are relevant to the industry, and I think it will be easier to learn about and understand these real-life solutions to issues through discussions with construction industry professionals. I’m looking to find out more about the solutions to the challenges we face as industry so I can take them away and apply them to my own projects and day to day life.

FM: It’ll be interesting to see how other professionals are looking at sustainability and how to tackle the climate crisis. Sometimes, sustainability isn’t always top of the agenda for a client and I’m really interested to see other people’s views on how to change the mindset of our clients to head in that direction.

Can you tell us about the talks / activities you’ll be attending at the event?
AL: I’ll definitely be signing up for a few talks throughout the day. I haven’t decided which day I’m going on yet but I’m looking forward to it.

FM: I’m going on day one but I’m also interested in the talk ‘Who’s in charge of the Climate Crisis’. It’ll be great to hear from the panel on that. I’m also interested in the talk ‘The future is regenerative’ as this is relevant to my own work. Amber and I collaborated on a project for a competition looking at the regenerative scheme so we’re intrigued to know what other people are doing.

Why do you think it’s important that there are events like Futurebuild that bring people together? What would you to say to someone to who wasn’t attending?
FM: It’s important for young architects to attend events like Futurebuild as there’ll be industry specialists who have more knowledge than those of us who work in practice day to day. We’ll gain knowledge from not only them but there will be relevant CPD for us to gain from the event.

AL: Having all this knowledge in one place makes it a lot easier for those of us who might miss this knowledge and information that gets sent to us. We’re extremely time poor in our day to day roles so it’s hard to consume all the information.  It’ll be great to engage and actually have a conversation with the industry professionals.

FM: I quite often don’t have time to read the emails and journals so it’ll be great to go to an event where you’re fully invested in everything going on, it’s a really focused event and I’m looking forward to packing in as much knowledge as possible. The networking will be great and it’s a fantastic chance to ask questions.

Why do you think it’s important that young people, like yourself, attend?
AL: As young people, sometimes you feel that more senior people are making decisions and sometimes it’s purely because they’ve got more exposure. It’s good for young people to gain this knowledge to feel confident presenting ideas. We’re going to be the future and we’re running these projects and it’s important that we have this knowledge straight away so that we can feed into our projects.

FM: We’re the next generation coming through. We need to be the ones feeding these solutions into our day-to-day practice – almost filtering it in from the bottom up. It’s important that we implement this knowledge into projects and make the much-needed change across the built environment.

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