On 27th October, in celebration of Black History Month, The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and Soho House hosted our first collaborative panel event: Inclusivity in Architecture. The event explored some of the challenges of inclusivity and the first-hand experience of two Black architects who’ve each navigated their way to success in their architecture journeys.
On the Panel were members of the Trust’s Architecture Advisory Board Ken Okonkwo, Associate Director of architectural studio at Haworth Tompkins and Trust alumna Simone de Gale, founder of Simone de Gale Architects and London RIBA Council Member. Moderated by Rim Kalsoum, Tahin Khan, with assistance from Zahra Mansoor, from architectural collective Muslim Women in Architecture.
Attended by students on the Trust’s Building Futures programme, amongst others, the event engendered a lively discussion, and affirmed the importance of the Trust’s support not only in financial terms but in ensuring that students from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds do not feel isolated on their journey to qualify.
Panellists argued that the case is already well-made for the need for more diverse talent within architecture and that we now need to push to open the sector up more fully, with Ken Okonkwo describing how greater diversity makes practices ‘more dextrous and designs more celebrated’.
With thanks to our panellists Ken Okonkwo and Simone De Gale; Rim Kalsoum, Tahin Khan and Zahra Mansoor of Muslim Women in Architecture; and Sam Laurence from Soho House, for putting together such a stimulating and informative event.