Dr Elizabeth Walder PhD, MA, FRSA, MCIPR
- Lecturer for History & Theory 2
- Joint lecturer and mentor for dissertation module for 3rd year students
- Attend university Architecture Taster Evenings
A former Director of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW) – which is part of the RIBA, Liz has also worked in architectural practice and currently runs her own business: Architecture Matters Limited. She has just been appointed as National Lead on Research & Strategy, Design Out Suicide for The Jordan Legacy CIC.
As Communications Manager for RIBA London region, I developed and improved the annual RIBA Awards programme across Greater London (in 2001, 57 entries rising to 157 entries in 2008), managing the annual RIBA Awards ceremony and on-site presentations, including raising sponsorship and designing associated literature.
I also organised the 2012 Olympic Legacy Dinner in 2006, hosted at 30 St Mary Axe, London (the “Gherkin”), and the subsequent architectural speed date in February 2007, hosted at the RIBA. Both events were created to marry design professionals with the London Olympic Delivery Authority, Newham Council, Greater London Authority, CABE and the Thames Gateway London Partnership. With the aim of architecturally designing every structure (from a bus stop to a velodrome), over 55% of successful partnerships were introduced from these two events.
- Affiliate Member, RIBA
- Fellow, Royal Society of Arts
- Member, Chartered Institute of Public Relations
- History and Theory
- Understanding contemporary architecture through a historical perspective
- Awards and recognition in the profession
- Gender in architecture
- Design Out Suicide
- Professional Practice
Since 2020, my research has focused on how the design world will survive after the international coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent mental health issues affecting the design process. This led me to speak at The Future of Architecture and Urbanism in the Post-COVID Age virtual conference hosted by the Epidemic Urbanism Initiative and supported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design & Health Research Consortium (DHRC), in January 2021, with the paper, “The Fall of Starchitecture and the Future of Architectural Practice in the Post-COVID UK”.
From 2012-20, my research primarily centred around gender in architecture with the aim of recognising women through the international awards process. I have spoken at the following events:
- College Art Association 108th Annual Conference in Chicago, USA, February 2020. Paper given, entitled “Invisible women: the absent presence in the roll call of architectural prize winners”.
- Fielding Architecture: Feminist Practices for a Decolonised Pedagogy symposium, University of Brighton, June 2019. Paper given, entitled “Male or #MeToo. How the gender imbalance of recipients of major architectural awards and prizes contributes to the canon of architecture”.
- International Conference: MoMoWo - Women’s Creativity Since the Modern Movement: Toward a New Perception and Reception, Politecnico di Torino – Lingotto Campus, Turin, Italy, June 2018. Paper given, entitled “Going for gold: looking at the gender imbalance of recipients of major architectural awards and prizes”.
- All-Ireland Architecture Research Group conference, Cork Centre for Architectural Education, Ireland, January 2016. Paper given, entitled “Always supporting, never the star: looking at the gender imbalance of recipients of major architectural awards and prizes”.
- Second International Conference on Architecture and Gender, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Lisbon, Portugal, March 2015. Paper given, entitled “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride: looking at the gender imbalance of recipients of major architectural awards and prizes”.
My PhD, on the subject of the Royal Gold Medal of the RIBA, has also led me to research and speak on the subject of recognition within the field, namely at:
- Generosity: an international conference, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff, June 2018. Paper given, entitled “The generosity of gold prizes and gift-giving in architecture: winners and losers examined from 1848 to the present day”.
- Stylistic Dead Ends Conference, St John’s College Oxford, June 2013. Opening paper, entitled “The culture of the British Architectural Establishment in the Interwar Years: the RIBA Royal Gold Medal and its winners”.
- Architectural Humanities Research Association 10th Annual Student Symposium, Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Lund University, Sweden, May 2013. Paper given, entitled: “Smoke and mirrors: deconstructing the award of the RIBA Royal Gold Medal”.
I currently run my own busy architectural practice, Architecture Matters Limited, and have previously worked as a Practice Manager and Business Development Manager for RIBA Chartered Practices. In these roles, I have developed knowledge and gained experience of all stages of the RIBA Plan of Work, from the development of the client brief via the construction phase to final handover.
As part of the RIBA Awards management team from 2000-12, I estimate that I have visited over 800 architecturally designed new buildings, of all shapes and sizes.
Since December 2020, I took on the role of National Lead on Research & Strategy, Design Out Suicide for The Jordan Legacy CIC, in order to incorporate awareness of Design Out Suicide within the formal legislation of the UK Building Regulations. This role also allows me to bring together all the existing design projects for mental health that are taking place in the UK, in order to develop best practice and joined-up thinking.
Podcast interview with Architecture Social, February 2021. Available via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fahvtG6aV8E
“Design out Suicide” as part of the #HopeForLife Day Launch for The Jordan Legacy, January 2021. Available via: https://thejordanlegacy.com/%20our-services/
Walder, L. 2020. “It’s Good to Talk”, in Various Authors. Surviving the Coronavirus Lockdown and Social Isolation, Available via Wordcatcher Publishing Ltd, Cardiff, March 2020, p. 21-22. ISBN: 978-1-78942-340-2 PDF
Walder, L. 2019. History, Design, and Legacy: Architectural Prizes and Medals. Wordcatcher Publishing Ltd. Available via Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Design-Legacy-Architectural-Architecture/dp/191126527X
Walder, L. 2018. Going for gold: looking at the gender imbalance of recipients of major architectural awards and prizes. Wordcatcher Publishing Ltd. Available via: Amazon
viva-survivors.com 2013: Interviewed for the podcast about my PhD and successful viva: http://viva-survivors.com/2013/01/episode-13-dr-liz-walder/
Walder, E. 2012. “The Royal Gold Medal”, in Chapman, T. Buildings of the Year 2012: The RIBA architecture awards, RIBA Publishing, London, December 2012, p. 182
Walder, E. 2011.“The Royal Gold Medal”, in Chapman, T. Architecture 11: RIBA Buildings of the Year, Merrell Publishers Limited, London, December 2011, p. 196
Since 2012, I have been one of many judges for the BBC Radio 2 500 Words Writing competition for children.
I was also a juror for the National Housing Awards from 2007-12, and Digital Champion for the RSA for Wales, 2003-13.
I have passed PRINCE2 Foundation in Project Management.