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The RIAS recruits Tamsie Thomson to expand its outreach & influence

April 22 2021

The RIAS recruits Tamsie Thomson to expand its outreach & influence

Tamsie Thomson, currently managing director of New London Architecture and previously director of the London Festival of Architecture, has been appointed as an architecture ambassador by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

Thomson will join the architect's body in the newly formed chief executive role this July, taking a lead role in shaping the profession's response to the climate emergency, shaping a post-pandemic future and expanding its sphere of influence.

Thomson said: "I am a passionate advocate of architecture’s capacity to improve people’s lives, and believe that the RIAS has a huge role to play through its work with members, clients, decision-makers and the public. We have a shared purpose to inspire and influence, and to demonstrate the critical role of architects and architecture to Scotland’s cultural, social and economic life.”

RIAS president Christina Gaiger added: "I am excited to work with Tamsie on our mission to collaborate, upskill and harness new technology as architects play their part in addressing the challenges facing society – not least the climate emergency."

Since being appointed as director of the London Festival of Architecture in 2016 Thomson has overseen its growth to become the world's largest architecture festival, bringing architects and architecture to new audiences. At New London Architecture meanwhile, Thomson is credited with steering the member's network as an indispensable voice in reshaping the city by uniting architects, the public, politicians ad business leaders.

An honorary fellow of the RIBA Thomson also has experience working for Shelter and the Civic Trust and has taught architecture at the University of Brighton.


James Hepburn
#1 Posted by James Hepburn on 22 Apr 2021 at 10:19 AM
Will she be responsible for brining talented and imaginative architects to Scotland. God knows we could do with a few.
#2 Posted by FHM on 22 Apr 2021 at 11:03 AM
#1, I don't think Ms Thomson need to engage with pickling anyone to be fair.

Hopefully this heralds a change in the old, white and rich men-only club that seem to permanently inhabit the dusty halls of RIAS / RIBA.
#3 Posted by Cadmonkey on 22 Apr 2021 at 18:17 PM
All very well doing that kind of thing....BUT....

Is anyone in RIAS/RIBA lobbying Government or insurance regulators to reduce our PI Insurance premiums?
Especially as Westminster appear to have de-risked the cladding issue by pumping money at the problem.
Architects should be getting refunds for the cripplingly high premiums being charged - allegedly because of Grenfell - even when architects don't do high rise residential.
I am seeing NO ACTION on this which is incredibly disappointing, but completely unsurprising.
Jane Park
#4 Posted by Jane Park on 23 Apr 2021 at 12:41 PM
#1 Why do we need to bring good architects to Scotland?

Scotland should be able to produce its own good architects, almost all the best buildings in Scotland were designed by Scotsmen.

There must be something wrong with our education system if we can't produce our own architects like we did so well in the past.

There is now this obsession with the identity of architects rather than the quality of their work, for every major appointment and award ceremony you just see people moaning about the identity of appointees/winners.

Funny that one of the best Scottish architects in history like CRM probably wouldn't get a look in today because his identity has gone out of fashion.
#5 Posted by mick on 23 Apr 2021 at 15:51 PM
Whilst I abhor bureaucracy, institutions and the ongoing perpetuation of such idols I do recommend that you check out the choices by Tamsie Thomson in Time Out Top 50 London Buildings. A brighter future...hopefully.
Tony Field
#6 Posted by Tony Field on 23 Apr 2021 at 18:57 PM
#4 You could argue that where have all the good Scottish engineers, bridge builders, explorers, chemists, scientists, etc gone?
I don't think they've all gone. In architecture its just less commissions going to the usual suspects.
There's a great list of great buildings that aren't so great - Lion chambers, Egyptian halls, Cardross Seminary to name a few...

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