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RIAS hunt for architecture ambassador to raise the profession's profile

February 3 2021

 RIAS hunt for architecture ambassador to raise the profession's profile

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) is recruiting for a newly established chief executive position as part of efforts to raise the profile of the profession.

Candidates are sought to lead a team of 15 from the organisations Edinburgh HQ and will be charged with performing an ambassadorial role while providing services and support to anyone involved or with an interest in architecture, design and the built environment.

RIAS president, Christina Gaiger, commented: “There has never been a more challenging time for our members. However, it is also a time of enormous opportunity to collaborate, upskill and explore new technologies that will help us to play our role in addressing the biggest challenge of our time – the climate emergency.

“Our members are influencing change across the country through their work with national and local government, businesses and communities. We are determined that they should have a chief executive who can help to ensure that their voices are heard and that we are able to use our skills and experience to transform the built environment and support Scotland’s low carbon targets.”

Applicants may apply online for the post which commands a salary of £65-70k per annum.  


Photograph by Angus Bremner


Woopie Macwoop
#1 Posted by Woopie Macwoop on 3 Feb 2021 at 20:32 PM
Hopefully they are selected on their architectural experience and abilities alone and not other irrelevant factors. A lot of poor architecture out there these days, need things to be totally merit based.
Future CEO
#2 Posted by Future CEO on 3 Feb 2021 at 21:22 PM
#1 Absolutely! no more talentless old dudes getting jobs because they go to the right golf club
Hats off to Harry Nilsson
#3 Posted by Hats off to Harry Nilsson on 4 Feb 2021 at 07:30 AM
So ... 'A New Chapter' issued its manifesto three years ago, calling for "wholesale reform" of the RIAS. Now that they have got representatives on RIAS Council, including the president, what have we got by way of reform? A new CEO to replace the Secretary. Hardly earth-shattering.

When are we going to see the real change which was promised?
#4 Posted by MV on 4 Feb 2021 at 14:31 PM
#1#2 Why are architects so narrow minded? Architects are, on the whole, bad businesspeople. They have given away huge amounts of responsibility and fees to other professions and in their desperation to personify that utterly fantastical, long gone, place in society that they learn at University, they can pretend that it’s all about the art and it’s not about the business.

Get in a proper chief executive. Someone driven. Someone who can set out and deliver change. Someone who can hold us all to account, to challenge us, to out those who seek to drive the architectural profession into the grave in the name of “their art”. Someone who can galvanise us, take back from others what they have taken from us and make us a proper profession again. Help make us businesses that command good fees and as a result command respect from the clients and contractors who currently deride and under value us. Only when we reach this place can we begin to realise our dreams of doing Architecture for the art.

In conclusion, the chief executive shouldn’t be an architect, we have a president for that. Also, try doubling the salary to get the best person in.

The person we need - not the person we want.
#5 Posted by OJUE on 4 Feb 2021 at 17:17 PM
Nick. Knowles.
1no. Tommy Walsh - procurement officer/enforcer.
1no. Dimmock - Envirnomental consultant Llewelyn-Bowen - (Painting RIAS HQ)
Mrs accountable
#6 Posted by Mrs accountable on 5 Feb 2021 at 10:01 AM
A new CEO of a charity isn't going to make architects better businesspeople, or "take back" anything that is perceived to have been taken away by anyone else. Architects need to hold themselves accountable for the state of the profession, not lazily look to place blame at someone's door who has zero power to enforce change in the wider building design profession. Respect needs to be earned.
#7 Posted by MV on 5 Feb 2021 at 10:52 AM
#6. The psychology is a funny one isn’t it? You already have the excuses for failure lined up. “it’s a charity”, which means it can't be run efficiently, effectively and in a business-like manner, ignoring the fact that’s our professional body. The same professional body who previously set the standards both ethically and financially for practices… but let’s over look that.

“Architects need to hold themselves accountable for the state of the profession.. blah blah blah”. Architects have had decades to sort themselves out. Decades to hold themselves accountable. You won’t lazily place blame at someone’s door if that someone is driving from the front, implementing change and holding us all to account. I know it sounds scary, I know it sounds un-architectural, but take a moment to look up from your door schedule and see the bigger world out there.

“Respect needs to be earned”. Ah…. Utopia. Respect SHOULD need to be earned. But like it or not, in our little world, the only thing that currently commands respect is money. Its not right. It shouldn’t be the case. But sticking your head in the sand and pretending that’s its not there is not holding yourself accountable.
Mrs accountable
#8 Posted by Mrs accountable on 5 Feb 2021 at 11:44 AM
#7. Yes it is isn't it, now read your original post with that same psychology and tell us that its not already lined up with excuses. You seem to want someone to hold you to account rather than yourself - what exactly have you been up to, naughty!
If the RIAS is truely the vehicle for change in the industry you believe it is then there is a wee link in the original post for you to throw your name in the hat.
Dennis O'Keeffe
#9 Posted by Dennis O'Keeffe on 5 Feb 2021 at 13:56 PM
Ouch! The comments received appear to reveal a profession (for which I have a lot of respect) in turmoil. Seriously, that's a real pity especially with the architectural talent that's evident in Scotland. To paraphrase the Bard - there is always some sweetness in adversity - but it sounds like a lot more communication and collaboration is required to find that precious jewel!
#10 Posted by Biump on 5 Feb 2021 at 14:50 PM
Hopefully no groups try and distort elections through block voting.

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