The Bartlett School of Architecture


Neil Pinder Appointed as Honorary Professor at The Bartlett School of Architecture

20 October 2021

The educator and activist’s honorary appointment was announced this month, and celebrates a 25 year career devoted to making architecture more accessible to young students and broadening diversity in the profession.

Neil Pinder

Neil has is taught at a number of inner-city schools for 25 years. He is Head of Product Design and Architecture at south London’s Graveney School, where he won the national Open House Teacher of the Year award and was named the NLA 2020 Hidden Hero award for his work in bringing architecture to the secondary curriculum. He harnessed the development of two buildings at the school to give students the opportunity to learn onsite and in real-time how building projects come together.

Neil has spearheaded a number of initiatives to improve access to architecture and the creative industries for people from marginalised backgrounds. Among them, HomeGrown+, a not for profit organisation dedicated to accelerating access to architecture; and Celebrating Architecture, launched in 2018 in partnership with Urban Learners and supported by The Architecture Foundation, Royal College of Art and the Mayor of London. Celebrating Architecture creates workshops for young students from all backgrounds where they can discover, experience and make architecture in cultural environments alongside leading architects, with the aim of broadening diversity in the field. 

He has led industry and educational workshops at the RCA and the London Festival of Architecture among others, covering topics from disseminating power from existing structures and hierarchies in the built environment profession to creating sustainable, wearable architecture, and spoken at RIBA events encouraging teachers to deliver architecture to the classroom. Neil is also a trustee of BluePrint (formerly the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust).

Neil commented on his appointment:

It is both an immense pleasure for me personally, and great recognition for all those who champion change within the built environment and the institutions involved. It reflects The Bartlett’s ability to see that the path to architecture is not a single path, but an extremely diverse path with complex levels of access. It also acknowledges that the path begins at an early age where students are driven by curiosity and the desire to influence change.

The study of architecture (and the profession itself) suffers from a form of “closed-door” in access terms; I’ll continue to act as an enabler for those who want to enter through that door. My work will continue to be guided by helping the non-traditional and traditional student who are interested in a life in architecture to navigate their way through the systems and find their own voices.

The Honorary Professor appointment adds a degree of credence to those who seek real change in society, and I hope to use it to orchestrate change within academia and practice, and discuss the disparity of the procurement route for micro SMEs of colour.”

- Neil Pinder

Neil is an instrumental and inspiring figure, working for many years with schools of architecture across the UK, including The Bartlett, as well as with institutions such as RIBA, leading practices, and both primary and secondary schools. We are deeply proud to welcome him onboard as an Honorary Professor, and are looking forward to his counsel on how our community within and beyond the school can become more equal, diverse and inclusive.” 

- Bob Sheil, Director of School

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