Working with the brilliant team at E&J Videography, we have put together a short film detailing our St Margaret’s Church. In the video we discuss the design and the concept behind it, by talking to key members of the team from all aspects of the church – management, end user and of course the design team.
I am so thrilled to be able to share the happy news that my colleague and friend, Tayseer Kardash, has successfully passed her Part 3 studies. This is a huge milestone for her as it marks the final step to becoming an official Architect in the UK.
We have known each other for many years now, through university and also working together when we were both at PAD studio. When I set up Studio BAD I was delighted that she agreed to come and join the team, I knew she would be a perfect fit for what I had set out to achieve. Over the many years we have known each other it has been amazing to see her develop and grown, into the confidant and talented architect she is today.
To become an official Architect in the UK takes a lot of dedication. To complete the studies will take at least 7 years, so even with the fairest of winds behind you this can be a long journey. Over Tayseer’s journey she has also had to contended with the pandemic, lockdown, living away from family and job uncertainty. Many of us would have understandably buckled under the weight, but it is a sign of Tayseer strength and persistence to keep going with the biggest smile on her face.
I was honoured to be interviewed by Helen Castle for the RIBA Journal, for a recent article looking at dyslexia within the architectural industry. It was a refreshing take on how this difference to learning can be a huge positive, especially a creative industry like architecture, rather than the hinderance it was historically perceived.
Having lived with dyslexia myself I found the traditional school system particularly difficult, which I believe was partly due to having it undiagnosed for so long. I was fortunate that I was able to find my passion for architecture (through a Youth Training Scheme & a very inspiring teacher in Roger Tyrell) and found that my dyslexia is not an obstacle, but in many ways it feels like a ‘superpower’.
Dyslexia has made me a more creative person; I am more innovative and adaptive with how I work which I have found to be a huge benefit to the company and my clients. I often believe I listen harder than most to my clients, it is obviously important to take onboard what all stakeholders are saying but I am extra conscious to ensure I am not missing any detail. To back this up I always write notes and often sketch out ideas, all to double check that I have understood the client properly and we are on the same path.
As a lecturer at Reading University, my dyslexia give me the tools to have honest conversations with my students. I believe my story, and less traditional education path, helps to break down barriers as it shows everyone that architecture is available to all, creative problem solving can come from every walk of life.
The full article can be found here, it also includes interviews with Hannah Durham, lecturer at Oxford Brookes University (who recently won a RIBA Journal Rising Star Award) and Karen Mosley, Managing Director of HLM Architects.
Make the RIBA Work for ALL Members – Vote for Sumita!
The campaigns have started for the next RIBA President, with three candidates through to the final round to succeed Simon Allford and serve the RIBA members for the next two years.
Studio BAD are delighted to be nominating, supporting and assisting Sumita Singha with her campaign. Having worked and collaborated with Sumita over the years we believe she is the best candidate to tackle the current, challenging demands of this position and to bring about the ethical change we believe needs to happen.
To help you understand her values and position on the main challenges, here is an extract from her manifesto:
RIBA has the opportunity to not only support its members in the pursuit of these goals, but to establish itself as a leading industry body committed to effective, timely, and tailored support and sponsorship of its members’ activities. Let’s show other industries how it’s done!
There is much to be excited about. We can have a body of creative, progressive, and inclusive professionals who are committed to exploration, experimentation, and innovation, for the good of society.
Our actions must be underpinned by a commitment towards stopping environmental destruction, the climate crisis and societal justice. There is no time to waste!
Architects must design buildings and infrastructure that sustains, supports, and delights.
Education and practice must provide the right environment for us and our future colleagues.
We demand benefits for all RIBA members now. We ask that RIBA:
- Takes action to reduce business costs for all members
- Invests in benefits for RIBA members from outside London
- Introduces an ethical charter for employers and educators
I will tackle these three areas of concern that can be achieved in two years of presidency and will benefit practitioners, employees, and students in practical ways
- For practitioners – Reduce insurance premiums – I will ask that competency tests be mutually recognised by professional bodies and that core CPD topics be offered with membership fees.
- A RIBA for ALL – RIBA in the Regions – I will press for a ‘RIBA presence’ in each of the 12 branches in the nations and regions of the UK to energise the volunteer commitment along with opportunities for members to network and meet with the regional staff.
For members in other countries that feel excluded the UK based RIBA activities. I will press for a ‘RIBA presence’ facilitated by technology, with our valued members in the 115 countries it operates in.
I would also like our headquarters to become a place of generosity for members, friends, and the visiting public, as such I will offer reduced rates for regional and International members to hire rooms at 66 Portland Place. .
- For Employees and Future colleagues –
Ethical charter – I will extend the remit of the ‘RIBA Compact’ to include an ethical charter for students and employees. There will be zero tolerance for bullying and harassment, discrimination, and abusive behaviour in any place of learning- whether it be educational institutions or architectural practice.
An annual Employers award – An award for employers who demonstrate the behaviours and modelling that is fundamental to the objectives set out above.
Bringing Ethics into the Curriculum – I will advocate integrating into the curriculum a recognition and redress of predominant colonialist social narratives and emphasise the critical role that diversity and inclusion plays in fostering creativity, equity, and respect.
A vote for Sumita will help save our profession, projects, and planet! For more information about Sumita you can find her at Twitter: Autotelic_Arch, Instagram: sumitasingha_riba, LinkedIn: Sumita Singha or www.ecologicarchitects.com
The RIBA Journal also carries interviews with all three candidates.
Please use your vote, it is open for all eligible RIBA members from 28 June to 26 July 2022, with results being announced on 2 August.
RIBA St Margaret’s Church Tour & Talk
Last week we hosted a RIBA talk at St Margaret’s Church, the free event gave anyone, and everyone an opportunity to visit the church and ask the design team questions regarding this brilliant scheme. Luckily someone had the foresight to record our talk and Q&A session, well worth a watch if you were not able to join us.
We were joined by the wonderful Andrew Malbon, a key member of the church team and also a fellow architect. He gives a great introduction to the project, offering an insight into the project from the church perspective – ‘Keep the thing the thing – no matter how gorgeous and lovely the (architecture is), and it is, it is here to support the people who come in the building.’
Andrew was also able to share some figures which highlight the positive impact the scheme has had on the local community. The food bank, for example, fed about 100 people a week throughout the pandemic, totally around 10,000 meals provided which could not have been done without the physical space of the church. The children’s soft play now hosts around 50 children visiting per week (not including those who use it over the weekend during services), it has become a safe and inexpensive space for families (not just from the congregation) to come together and use.
From the Q&A session, one question that really stood out for us was:
‘What has come out of this which wasn’t planned – any unintended happy accidents?’
Andrew explains how the project has expanded across the building; people no longer just congregate in the center of the church but have grown into all corners of the building. He explains how at the first wedding in the refurbished church there was an amazing, fluid use of space, which was amazing to see how the church could be utalised in such a way.
Darren explains how this project has taught Studio BAD the importance of starting each project without any preconceived ideas. Since the success of St Margaret’s, they have been asked to recreate the scheme elsewhere, however it is important not to just copy but to see the needs for each community and shape the project that way.
The future of a church is not just about Sunday, it is about community and what the physical building can offer.
The talk starts around 4 minutes into the video, Darren comes in around 22 minutes.
As a recent MacEwean Award Commended project, the RIBA Hampshire Branch have invited us to host a tour of St Margaret’s Church for local members. We are thrilled to have this opportunity, to showcase how we have transformed the once condemned building though a minimal refurbishment and ‘meanwhile approach’, transforming it for the local community.
Do please come and join us, the event is free although we would encourage everyone who can to make a donation to the church’s fund. Pre booking your tickets is essential, get your here.
Date & Time:
Tuesday 26th April 2022
1800 – 2000
St Margaret’s Community Church
Highland Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO4 9DD