Lancaster University lecturer’s new role will drive excellence in architecture

Des Fagan - head and shoulders image

Lancaster University’s Head of Architecture will be at the forefront of fresh thinking and improving excellence in design at national and international level through a prestigious new appointment.

Des Fagan has been appointed the Chair of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) new national Practice and Policy group.

The group will recommend policy to the Royal Institute of British Architects, the London-based global architecture professional membership body which drives excellence in architecture.

As Chair of the inaugural committee, Mr Fagan will help to lead the RIBA’s national and international policy development and political activity, working with the RIBA Board, Council, and expert member groups, engaging with politicians, civil servants, and sector stakeholders, to develop both proactive and reactive policy content and campaigns.

The new group’s role will include influencing and overseeing the development of a programme of policy and public affairs activity to affect change in Whitehall, Westminster and beyond and identifying and leading partnerships with other organisations and influential individuals to support the RIBA’s policy objectives.

As well as influencing the RIBA at the highest level on practice, legislative and regulatory issues relating to architecture through targeted external relationships, the group will provide expert advice on practice, policy and public affairs issues, opportunities, risks.

It will also develop and support the RIBA Policy and Public Affairs Team, working to ensure that the RIBA’s work on practice, policy and public affairs work is visible to members.

Mr Fagan said: “I feel very honoured to have been named the new Chair of the Practice and Policy Committee, particularly as my combination of academic and practice experience is unique to the committee.

“Given weight by the Government’s levelling up agenda to empower change in towns and cities across the UK, I hope to reinforce the importance that research-led investment in infrastructure can have on our local communities.”

This is the second major appointment for Mr Fagan within the national regulatory bodies that govern architecture. For the last four years, he has been Expert Advisor on matters relating to the prescription (recognition) of all UK architecture qualifications to the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Award-winning academic and architect Mr Fagan, started at Lancaster University as the Head of Architecture in August 2019, a role he will continue alongside his new appointment.

Prior to working in academia, he worked on several international award-winning projects, including as Project Architect for the London Olympic Village and Lead Architect for the Glasgow Riverside Museum for Zaha Hadid Architects, winner of European Museum of the Year 2013

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