The Bartlett School of Architecture


Defining Diversity Through Lived Experience - Bartlett International Lecture Series

25 November 2020, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Defining diversity

This event is free.

Event Information

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The Bartlett School of Architecture

This event will be streamed live on The Bartlett School of Architecture's YouTube channel at 18:00 GMT. No registration is required.


Streamed live on The Bartlett School of Architecture's YouTube channel, this event will be a discussion between co-hosts Saptarshi Sanyal and Sophia Psarra and speakers Sumita Singha, Vinesh Pomal and invited discussant Adam Nathaniel Furman.

This event forms part of The Bartlett International Lecture Series Autumn 2020.  


 This event will reflect on the many positions on diversity in the architectural profession, academia and practice through the lived experiences of three architectural practitioners and educators. It will explore and expand what diversity means to them from the ground-up, based on their individual histories at home, intercultural and international contexts.

In the current social, intellectual and professional climate about decolonisation, feminist agendas, queer perspectives and climate change, there is a widespread recognition of the importance of challenging authoritative voices and canonical approaches. To achieve this, to working closely with minority communities and cultures, and to address social, political and environmental threats, these debates must not be normalised, but instead scrutinised to understand their inherent tensions.

Through the varying notions on diversity reflected in the experiences of these practitioners and educators, generic and abstract categories of thought emerge as complex and unresolved. It is through this ‘complexity’ that this event hopes to provoke fresh and productive ways to explore diversity. 

Speaker biographies

Sumita Singha is an award-winning architect, academic and author with her own design practice, Eco=logic. Sumita's awards include the UIA:UNESCO International design award, Women In Business Award and Atkins Inspire Award. She was included in an exhibition about the 28 women who had made a difference to the life and culture of Britain.

Sumita set up Architects For Change, the Equality forum at RIBA and is a former Chair of Women In Architecture. Sumita has served on many RIBA committees for over 25 years. She is a non-executive Director of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Sumita is a trustee of Architects Benevolent Society and Commonwealth Association of Architects. Sumita has taught architecture in the UK and abroad. She is the founding director of Charushila, an international design charity for community projects. She is the author of several books including the four-volume Major Works: Women In Architecture, 2018. 

Vinesh Pomal is a Project Architect at TateHindle where he is also the Chair of the Employee Council, a Revit Champion and part of the Design Group. He previously worked at ECD Architects, Levitt Bernstein and Melt Design Hub where he gained experience in designing sustainable communities. He undertook his full architectural training at Portsmouth School of Architecture.

His experience to date varies from estate regeneration schemes across all tenures through to specialist housing including independent living, extra care, nursing homes and intergenerational living, having worked on numerous schemes across the UK and drawing upon his personal experience. Outside the work place, Vinesh teaches in the first-year design studio at Leicester School of Architecture and sits on the Sutton Design Review Panel and the Young Architects and Developers Alliance board. He is an advocate of equality, diversity and inclusion in the built environment.

Adam Nathaniel Furman is an artist and designer of Argentine and Japanese heritage based in London. Adam trained in Architecture and Fine Art and works in these fields as well as product design and interiors. Adam is co-director of Saturated Space at the Architectural Association, a research group on colour in architecture and urbanism; was a studio master of Productive Exuberance at CSM for three years; published the book Revisiting Postmodernism for the RIBA in 2017; has written for many publications; and won several awards including the UK Rome Prize for Architecture and Blueprint's Award for Design Innovation.

Image: Pixabay