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RIBA Announces Fourteen Honorary Fellowships

LONDON.- The Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) Council today approved 14 new Honorary Fellowships of the RIBA, to men and women from a wide range of backgrounds, including journalism, art, engineering and property development.

RIBA Honorary Fellowships reward the particular contributions people have made to architecture in its broadest sense: its promotion, administration and outreach; its role in building more sustainable communities; and finally its role in the education of future generations. The lifetime honour, conferred annually, allows recipients to use the initials Hon FRIBA after their name.

The RIBA's 2009 Honorary Fellows are:

Peter Ackroyd (writer)

Peter Ackroyd is made an RIBA Honorary Fellow because of his deep understanding of the relationships between history and place, between buildings and people. He has explored these in a series of literary works, fictional and biographical, which have led readers, and increasingly viewers of his television explorations, to a greater understanding of the world. Overtly or not, his theme has generally been London but his musings on the place of his birth always have universal application.

Stephen Bayley (architecture and design critic)

Stephen Bayley is a man for whom design in all its manifestations really matters. Almost obsessively and in a wide variety of ways he has sought to interest the public in his subject and succeeded. Britain in 2008 is a very different place from the way it looked in the 1980s and that is due in no small measure to Stephen.

Loren Butt (engineering)

Loren Butt is a mechanical engineer and proud to be so called. He has developed a reputation for being an inventive and strategic thinker, committed to achieving architectural design intent. Not for him the fashionable Environmental Engineer tag, though that is the job he has been doing supremely well for 20 years. Like many of the best engineers, he has worked relatively quietly in the background of any number of projects, not just making them work environmentally and economically, but also effective in terms of lifetime performance.

David Fisk (engineering)

David Fisk is the thinking man's engineer and the thinking engineer's man. Fisk was one of the first to make the now obvious connection between engineering and the sustainable performance of buildings. As one of the key scientific advisors to government he has had a beneficial influence on policy in the areas of climate change, energy use, regional policy and transport. He has also done much to persuade all involved in the governance of our resources as well as in the construction industry that all future development has to be sustainable.

Michael Ingall (developer)

Michael Ingall has consistently shown himself to be a developer deeply concerned with architectural, urban, social and environmental issues. He has demonstrated that development is about the regeneration of our cities as much as it is about the making of money. An unsung role model for other developers, he has been recognized in the 2008 Stirling shortlist with the Manchester Civil Justice Centre, a highly sustainable development which was also shortlisted for the RIBA English Partnerships Award.

Doreen Lawrence (supporter of architecture)

Doreen Lawrence's connection with architecture is both intimate and tragic, but out of the tragedy she has created an inspiring resource to make the study of architecture more accessible. Her son Stephen, who aspired to become an architect, was murdered in a racist attack when he was 18 years old and the perpetrators, whilst known, were never convicted. Not only did Doreen and Neville Lawrence display extraordinary strength and determination in their response to the loss of their son, Doreen went on to found the Stephen Lawrence Trust, which she directs.

Laura Lee (client)

Laura Lee is another of those whose association with architecture came through the misfortune of others. As a cancer care nurse, one of her patients was Charles Jencks's wife Maggie. Laura promised she would carry out Maggie's dying wish: to see cancer sufferers and their families and friends offered humane facilities in which they could learn about the illness and receive support. Neither could have dreamt that within 12 years, from Richard Murphy's first centre opening at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, that a series of six centres would be open, with a further three under construction and four more planned.

Duncan Michael – engineering

Duncan Michael is rewarded with Honorary Fellowship of the RIBA because of his tireless efforts to help improve our built environment through a number of different avenues. The third in a triumvirate of engineers in this year's list of Honorary Fellows, the affably eccentric Highland Scot Michael has placed his vast experience as a teacher and practitioner with Arup at the disposal of a number of charitable construction industry causes through the Arup Foundation.

Jonathon Porritt (sustainability)

Jonathan Porritt is a man of passion, conviction and eloquence. His is also in possession of a media-savviness that has enabled him to use those qualities successfully to argue the green case long before it became fashionable. For seven years he was associated by the media with his pressure group, Friends of the Earth. Since then, and with equal impact, he has been re-dubbed Jonathan Porritt of the Green Party and of Forum for the Future.

Allain Provost (landscape architecture)

Allain Provost is the grand-papa of French landscape architecture, whose strongly geometrical work and his benign influence can be seen on both sides of the Channel, not least where the Tunnel emerges near Calais. But it was with his designs for the Parc André Citroën in Paris that he began to rescue his profession and re-establish landscape architecture as much more than an adjunct to architecture and the rationalisation of garden design.

Andrew Scoones (supporter of architecture)

Andrew Scoones has done more to drive cross-professional collaboration and to engender respect between the differing disciplines within the construction industry than any other. In the past 20 years he has turned the Building Centre Trust, of which he is now Director, into a thriving industry community centre where architects are only too happy to breakfast with engineers and construction professionals discussing the latest thinking in environmental design.

Richard Sennett (writer)

Chicago born Professor Richard Sennett is honoured by the RIBA for his profound thinking and teaching on the development of our cities. He is a part of a long and honourable line of scholars stretching back via Lewis Mumford to Ebeneezer Howard. Sennett's work has provided the sociological basis for the work of architects and urbanists for four decades.

James Turrell (artist)

It is rare for an artist to influence directly the progress of architecture. The work of James Turrell is an outstanding example of this unusual circumstance and for this reason the RIBA is honouring him. As a sculptor Turrell works directly with light and the impact it has on the perception of space. His installations can be seen throughout the world and have moved even the harshest critics to wonder at the beauty and simplicity of his work.

Madelon Vriesendorp (artist)

Dutch artist Madelon Vriesendorp has made a unique contribution to the visual culture of architecture, sometimes challenging architects, sometimes beautifying their work. She has worked on the restoration of old frescoes and as a designer of stage costumes, books and jewellery and co-founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture with husband Rem Koolhaas, whose 1978 Delirious New York featured her drawings and paintings. Over the last ten years she has produced drawings, models and illustrations and in 2008 was the subject of a show at the Architectural Association titled The World of Madelon Vriesendorp.

Speaking today, RIBA President Sunand Prasad said,

"Honorary Fellowships allow the RIBA to recognize the diversity of influences on architecture from a range of disciplines. The Fellows we recognize today are leaders in their fields. Each has a track record of achievement which provides inspiration for architects and other professionals. The RIBA values all their contributions and I look forward to working with each of them in the future."

The RIBA Honorary Fellowships will be presented in February 2009 at the RIBA in London. This year's RIBA Honors Committee was chaired by RIBA President Sunand Prasad and made up of architects Sir Jeremy Dixon of Dixon Jones, Prof. Kenneth Frampton of Columbia University, Despina Katsikakis of design consultancy DEGW, Pankaj Patel of Patel Taylor, writer Peter Davey OBE and engineer Jane Wernick Hon FRIBA.

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