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The Traditional Architecture Group
A Linked Society of the Royal Institute of British Architects

 Subscriber Newsletter No 24

Tuesday, 9th July 2013

In this issue

  • RIBA members: Remember to vote for Traditionalist Canditate, Robert Franklin, in RIBA Council Elections

  • Vitalism and the Meaning of Art Nouveau: read the latest essay by Peter Kellow

  • New book by Robert Adam: Heritage and Culture

RIBA Elections to Council 2013

Vote for Robert Franklin
TAG Preferred Candidate

Nationally Elected Seats
Deadline for voting Noon 23rd July 2013

In 2013, there are 9 candidates for six seats as follows:
Vinesh Pomal
Christopher Williamson
Katie Wilmot
Geoff Alsop
John Senan Cole
Robert Franklin
Gavin Hutchison
Tzena James
Owen Luder



  1. Nominated by: Alan Chandler; Hugh Feilden; David Levitt; Walter Menteth; Owen O’Caroll; Stuart Page; Janie Price.
  2. Practice Address: Robert Franklin : Architect : Designer.

The Stables Studio, Clifton Mill, Clifton, Banbury, Oxon: OX15 0PE.

  1. Position: Principal
  2. Qualifications: Dip.Arch.(Oxford) RIBA, SCA.

Election Statement:

C.V. Qualified 1976, established own practice 1978. Website

Oxon. branch activities inc. chair and Regional Council to 2000. Regional Chair 2000-2 and established RIBA South Conservation Group and its Conservation Awards. Member of RIBA Conservation Group from 2010 and chair from 2012 inc. membership of Professional & Practice Group.  Assessor for Specialist Conservation Register since inception.

This experience leads me to offer two areas of what I believe to be important effort: Membership Engagement.   Disconnection between Members’ interests and executive management leads to suspicion, frustration and disengagement.  It endangers the Institute if Members feel their needs and interests are diminished or deflected, and if expert advisory groups’ initiatives appear to be regarded as a nuisance rather than an invaluable and freely given resource.   Executive assumption of superior knowledge or wisdom need to be supported by evidence, alongside relevance of its decisions to Members’ experience and needs in practice. This ideal is not always found, as shown by PPC’s full support for my paper requesting change in the way RIBA Policy is developed.  This is an excellent start, but radical Reform must come through continuous pressure from Council, to return the Executive to what should be its proper role of advising, and then executing the will of President, Vice-Presidents, Council, Board, Advisory Groups and Members, not deflecting or thwarting that will in the interests of what can appear to be its own agenda.

Diversity and Inclusivity.  The RIBA represents all architects, and would be more inclusive and convivial if it more openly applauded excellence of all kinds, rather than appearing to favour only a narrow range of architectures.  Mediocrity is the enemy, not style (which is not, after all, a moral issue of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’), and our published work and Awards should reflect and celebrate this.   I will continue to press for this to be accepted, through support to the Chair of the Awards Group and through encouraging the Institute’s higher engagement with all kinds of architect and all kinds of Great Architecture.

RIBA Members Vote Here. Deadline for voting Noon 23rd July 2013

Vitalism and the Meaning of Art Nouveau

Read the latest essay by Peter Kellow for American Arts Quarterly online

Art Nouveau, as a style, is customarily thought of as having been consigned to one of history’s tightly locked boxes. In the case of Art Nouveau, it will undoubtedly be a beautiful, finely crafted, gilded box—but a box nevertheless. Art Nouveau architecture is not short of admirers, and people trek from far and wide to see its masterpieces. But they stare at the works, feeling them to be detached in time and history. We expect never to see their like fashioned again. However, the assessment of Art Nouveau, like that of any movement, is never static. We may have finally moved on from Nikolaus Pevsner’s judgment in 1936 that it was “a short but very significant fashion in decoration,” but still the feeling lingers .... Read More

New Book by Robert Adam



By Robert Adam
Produced for the Prince's Foundation for Building Community
Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales. Sponsored by RW Armstrong and Walter Lilly.
First published in 2013

ISBN 9781906384067

Robert Adam discusses the role of architectural and urban heritage in modern society in two thought-provoking essays.  In Heritage and Culture he links heritage to tradition and puts it at the heart of the identity of the community, tracing the consequences of this conclusion to methodologies for maintaining heritage.  In Whose Heritage? he follows the argument to assert that heritage can only have meaning for particular communities and, controversially, that recent heritage is often conserved only for the community of heritage experts.  This book will be of value not only to those with an interest in heritage but also to anyone concerned with the relationship between communities and the built environment.  

Available to buy from Amazon



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