Indian Born Heads Royal Institute of British Architects

Sunand Prasad. Image Copyrights Payne and Prasad Website

Sunand Prasad is the new President Elect of RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Sunanda was born and brought up in Central India and moved to the UK in 1962 at the age of 12. He became interested in architecture because…

…At the age of four I was given a small trowel to help point the stone floor slabs of the newly built art school that my father ran in a Gandhian community in Central India. That and Meccano are partly responsible for my standing for RIBA President now….[ link ]

Sunand Prasad is a senior partner at the UK firm of Payne and Prasad. As the firm website notes

Sunand is co-founder of the practice and oversees all its designs. He is a member of the UK Government’s Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), a member of the RIBA Council and Board and the Institute’s Chair of Policy and Strategy. He played a central part in the development of the Construction Industry Council’s Design Quality Indicators. [ link ]

In running for the post he gained a lot of positive support, one amongst them from none other than Lord Richard Rogers, a legendary architect of his generation.

Sunand Prasad is an exceptionally talented architect, a gifted designer and critic with a strong record of campaigning for architecture in the private/public domain. I strongly recommend him as President of the RIBA.

Richard Rogers, RIBA

In his acceptance speech, Sunand notes

I feel honoured and privileged to be elected as the next RIBA President and keenly conscious of the responsibility now to make the changes set out in my manifesto. I want to thank warmly all those who supported me and also Valerie Owen whose own tremendous campaign ensured that the full range of issues was discussed. I look forward to supporting current President Jack Pringle over the next year and will make it a priority during this time to get closer to RIBA members, visiting as many as possible. We can only build the influential profession that we want, and society needs, by the RIBA more effectively involving its members.

As an Indian architect practising in a foreign land, I am very impressed and inspired by Sunand. Even though Sunand never studied architecture in India he has done a lot of research studies in North India. As his firm resume informs

He has written about architecture and cultural diversity, the value of design, architecture and construction, hospital design, urbanism and the domestic architecture of North India, and the work of Le Corbusier. Sunand has taught and lectured in many schools of architecture, acted as an external examiner and continues to be occasionally involved in teaching.

You make Indian architects and India proud.

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