Presidential Candidate Statement for Chris Stewart

Posted on April 11, 2022

Following the vetting process by Nominations Committee and Council Members, the RIAS has announced the two candidated standing for election to be the next RIAS President.

Chris Stewart RIAS, RIBA

Dr Richard Atkins FRIAS, RIBA, FRSA

Our practice is pleased to be championing Chris Stewart, Practice Director, to become the next RIAS President. 

Chris's election statement;

My passion is sustainable and inclusive architecture. An architecture for everyone which respects all life, is healthy, vibrant and beautiful. I strongly believe that these characteristics are complimentary and can be brought together into one holistic environment. At no time have these aims been more important than now. There is no better place where this can be achieved than here, a country rich in culture with a history of sustainable thought. No one is better placed to advance this vision than the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.

Over the last few years great work has been carried out at the RIAS which has opened us up to a collaborative approach of working. In previous years the RIAS has been at the forefront of ecological design, evident through our Sustainability Policy

‘The Role of the Built Environment in Creating Social, Economic and Environmentally Sustainable Places’, a document years ahead of its time. Couple this foundation in ecological design with our naturally democratic structure of vibrant Chapters spread across Scotland and a hugely knowledgeable base of specialist Committees and Groups. I believe we have the basis to progress these goals, at home and abroad. For over 30 years I have pursued the themes of sustainability and participation in architecture exploring how they are integrated into practice and taught to our students. 25 of these years I have worked with fellow colleagues and as a company Director to establish Collective Architecture, one of Scotland’s leading Employee- Owned companies. 10 of these years I continue my work as a Director and former Chair of the Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA). I am currently the Convenor of the Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) Sustainability Committee and more recently helped establish the RIAS Sustainable Working Group which I currently Chair. I feel I am well placed to undertake the task of implementing this vision.

I appreciate the scale and time required to undertake the task which must be carried out collaboratively, involve all our members, work across the construction industry and with all parts of society. It will have to include:

• Listening to our members and ensure they have an effective voice.
• Empower groups within the RIAS to take on the various tasks, encouraging all to be active especially our younger members.
• Work with the Schools of Architecture to help build sustainability into the curriculum.
• Fight hard to ensure sustainable measures are built into legislation.
• Aim to preserve our culture, supporting a retrofit first and circular approach to our built environment.
• Address the significant challenges we will face such as mandatory competencies including Health & Life Safety and Climate Literacy.
• Review our Sustainability Policy and reform our Sustainability Accreditation.
• At all times remember our skill is in design and we should use it.

I promise that I will follow the above, believe the will exists at the RIAS to address these goals and would be very grateful if you would support me along this path.

Online voting opens on 1st June and closes on 24th June. Results will be announced on 29th June. The new President will take office that day for an initial one-year term with the option to extend by one further year.

Online Hustings

Run as an online event, and hosted by current President Christina Gaiger the hustings will be a chance to find out what the candidates hope to achieve should they be elected the next President of the RIAS. The candidates will take questions from RIAS members. Book Tickets