Commendation for Jordan: RIBAJ/Future Architects Writing Competition.

Congratulations to Jordan Whitewood Neal who has received a commendation in this year’s RIBAJ/Future Architects writing competition for his piece on domesticity and the Architectural Association. Jordan graduated from our M’Arch course this year is now studying our new course MRes Architectural Research

RIBAJ/Future Architects writing competition drew over 100 entries from future architects studying and working across the UK and internationally. Judges were impressed by the breadth of the subjects covered – from profiles of innovators and architects to energised engagement with, and analysis of, much loved places and deeply personal pieces that explored identity and issues of race and disability.

It was clear that personal experience was the key to much of the best of the writing and that the upheavals of 2020 have allowed future architects to connect that powerfully to the issues of the day and Jordan’s emotional and personal piece was no exception.

‘It was an interesting and engaging read exploring disability with a bit of emotion,’ said one of the judges Wajiha Afsar. Taking the example of the Architectural Association buildings Jordan Whitewood-Neal used ‘revealing little details’ (Watson) to show the uneasy relationship between the institution’s avant garde design teaching and the lived experience of the buildings, and the way the domestic qualities of the buildings are undermined by their exclusionary characteristics. Shawn Adams felt it was ‘powerful to flag up these issues; it is an area of diversity we often overlook’.

The judges were Shawn Adams of PoOR Collective and HTA, a RIBAJ Rising Star and New Architecture Writers alumni; Wajiha Afsar of Atkins Global who was commended in 2020’s Future Architects writing competition; Lucy Watson, Financial Times commissioning editor and Eleanor Young, acting editor of RIBA Journal who chaired the panel. We are excited by the fresh voices it has brought out.

Jordan’s full essay will be on the Architectural Association website soon.