Stephen Hodder to be next RIBA president

Manchester-based architect Stephen Hodder has been confirmed as the next President of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Hodder will become president elect on 1 September 2012 and will take over the two-year elected presidency from Angela Brady on 1 September 2013.

He will become the 75th RIBA president, a position previously held by significant architects Sir G Gilbert Scott and Sir Basil Spence among others.

Hodder's practice, Hodder + Partners, based in St George's Island, Castlefield, has won 30 major awards including the inaugural RIBA Stirling Prize in 1996 for the Centenary Building at the University of Salford.

Stephen is currently RIBA vice-president for nations and regions and design review panel member for both CABE and Places Matter! He has written and lectured widely, been visiting examiner at a number of schools of architecture and assessor of numerous architectural competitions and awards.

Hodder, who stood unopposed for the positition, said: "I am extremely pleased to be confirmed as president elect of the RIBA. The RIBA is an ambitious organisation with a clear focus on its strategic priorities for the next five years and I look forward to helping to deliver an ambitious programme of work to support our members and encourage the wider public to greater appreciate the social and economic benefits good architecture can bring.

"As RIBA President, I will bring continuity to the great work already being delivered, from procurement reform to campaigning and cultural programming. I am particularly keen that we do more to promote the importance of collaboration between client, design and delivery teams – an essential partnership that can lead to more successful architecture. Even faced with challenging times, we can achieve so much."

Stephen Hodder – President elect manifesto

My areas of focus are:

Opportunities for architects

Client Services and advice: Client referrals are of huge benefit to small practices of less than five architects, which make up two thirds of all Chartered Practices, so it is vital we give greater investment and promotion to the resource. Similarly, we need to review and promote the RIBA Competitions process.

Procurement reform and internationalism: I will give continuity to the great work already started in Angela Brady's presidency, namely to see through procurement reform and the development of an international strategy. Whilst the UK construction industry looks likely to remain static for some time, we are continuing to see growth in new and emerging international markets. Promotion of our members internationally is essential and not exclusively for large practice.

Collaboration: Successful architecture is delivered by the close working relationship between client, a 'joined-up' design team and delivery team. I will promote this essential partnership, with the architect absolutely integral to the process.

Membership support and empowerment

Communication: I want the grass roots of our membership to be more involved in informing and supporting RIBA policy. I am also keen for the Institute to become an even more accessible knowledge hub for members; our regional structure has a pivotal role to play.
As vice-president of membership and nations and regions, I have championed more effective communication between branches and their members. But there is much more to be done. We have an Institute that most professions envy but its embedded knowledge is not easily accessible to members. I will support the recommendations of a communications review which is currently underway, including the implementation of a new website.

Campaigning: I will campaign for the value that good building and place design can bring to the environment, social well-being and the economy. The Institute is extremely well respected by policy makers and has had many campaigning successes, such as most recently in making the case for design quality in the National Planning Policy Framework. We must continue to be clear and focused in our messages and influencing work.

Membership review

Membership of the RIBA is recognised by clients and architects the world over as a symbol of professional excellence. However the full benefits of being a chartered member or practice are unclear to many architects. We need to invest in the review and promotion of the benefits of RIBA membership.

Architectural education

Architectural education and the profession are both in transition and facing their own challenges. I will continue to work for better connectivity between schools of architecture, practice and the Institute to increase greater understanding of the respective demands and opportunities for collaboration. Similarly, I believe the potential for research exchange remains a remarkable, yet largely untapped opportunity.

Cultural outreach

Good design enriches all our lives. Delivering a nationwide cultural programme that exploits our remarkable resources will remain a priority for me.

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UPDATE: Adds Hodder’s manifesto

By Ed

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