Architecture Today Awards judge Ben Derbyshire, former RIBA President and Chair of HTA Design, shares why he hopes to see social housing schemes among the entries.


Derbyshire is one of 18 judges for the inaugural Architecture Today Awards. Alongside his role at HTA Design, Derbyshire is also Commissioner of Historic England and President of the London Forum of Amenity & Civic Societies, which represents the interests of some 100 amenity and civic societies in London.

What attracted you to be a judge at Architecture Today Awards?
I like and enjoy Architecture Today! Its editorial approach seems to me aligned with professional values, supporting competence and devoid of cant or hyperbole. Most of all, a test of time award, avoiding the pitfalls of neophilia is long overdue.

What qualities will you be looking out for – what will make a project stand out to you?
Evidence! The most telling basis for this award scheme would be evidence of structured post occupancy evaluation carried out on an empirical basis. Other than that, I’m hoping to see well used, robust and sustainable building bearing up well.

What do you hope will be taken away from the live presentation and judging process?
Encouragement that the growing interest and concern for evidence of social value, environmental sustainability and costs in use are valued as outcomes of our work as architects.

What building would you most like to see among the entries?
Housing schemes, especially social housing schemes, where ambitious outcomes have been established by clients with the consultant team and success is evident from thoroughgoing post occupancy evaluation.

Find out more about the Architecture Today Awards and how to enter by visiting the Architecture Today Awards portal.