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    Blog by Ben Derbyshire PRIBA

    #US25 - “Everything they do is informed and improved by good design”

    27 June 2018
    A 3 minute read by Ben Derbyshire PRIBA Dip Arch Cantab RIBA

    As part of our 25th anniversary exhibition, It Will Never Work, in collaboration with RIBA North, the last eight presidents of the RIBA have very kindly reflected on the contribution that Urban Splash have made to architecture, regeneration and the built environment over the last 25 years.

    We’re kicking off with current RIBA President Ben Derbyshire PRIBA, who’s also the Chair of HTA Design LLP...

    Town House, Smith's Dock, North Shields

    “There is no better example of how design can add value to the business of development in the built environment than is to be found in the work of Urban Splash.

    “In my view that is because it’s founders, entrepreneur Tom Bloxham and architect Jonathan Falkingham, have a proper understanding of what design is. Their combination of talents demonstrates the impact of critical thinking, the core component of design skill, alongside creativity, communication, and an aesthetic sensibility. If you are going to truly benefit from the input of design talent to your business, you need to permit its influence from the very beginning, and across the full range of your process.

    Stubbs Mill, Manchester

    “From the moment I first came across Urban Splash, I could see that was the case. Everything they do is informed and improved by good design. The result, from humble beginnings, is an enviable oeuvre in master-planning, the architecture of new and refurbished buildings, regeneration and placemaking. And they have been generous with it, contributing much to the culture of architecture and design, including at the RIBA.

    Lakeshore, Bristol

    “So now they can say, with justification, ‘Look on my works, oh ye mighty, and despair!’”

    The position of RIBA President was established in 1835 and has been previously held by significant architects including Sir George Gilbert Scott, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, Alfred Waterhouse and Sir Basil Spence.


    'It Will Never Work' exhibition dates

    20 June - 12 September
    Glenn Howells Architects, 321 Bradford Street, Birmingham, B5 6ET

    17 - 28 September
    RIBA London, 66 Portland Place, Marylebone, London, W1B 1NT

    About the author

    Ben Derbyshire PRIBA Dip Arch Cantab RIBA

    Ben Derbyshire is chair of HTA Design LLP, a 150 strong multidisciplinary practice based mainly in London and Edinburgh, where he has been a partner since 1987. He has a number of other Board positions including at RIBA Enterprises, Design for Homes, and is a trustee of The London Society.

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