What a thought provoking and stimulating way to end first week of term – RIBA President Ben Derbyshire came to Brighton to talk to staff and students today. His talk was entitled ‘Change is Necessary’ and for two hours he sought to explain why.
He started by outlining what he saw as some of the issues that need addressing; the sense of value society places on Architecture as a profession, the USP problem and how there needs to be a better understanding of an architectural education only just ‘starting’ at University, when it should be seen as lifelong learning.
He then moved on to diversity and equality issues and engaged in some lively debate with students about ‘real’ problems that exist both within education and in practice. As the audience was largely students he talked about the motivations for becoming an architect, ethics, aspiration and influence but also the down side, the financial debt that students accrue, mental health issues and the unacceptable machismo culture that still exists in some places.
He finished by citing communication, collaboration, creativity, adaptability and resilience as being the core competencies of an architectural education …..all of course being traits we at Brighton value highly. Lots of food for thought.