The London Practice Forum is delighted to be supporting the RE―SET―GO programme which launches this week.

Initiated by LPF member-practice We Made That, RE—SET—GO has secured support funding from Stride, which campaigns to build networks that inspire imaginations, encourage collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Backed by the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Wandsworth, the £85,000 pilot programme launches this week. It will give more than 150 individuals from under-represented backgrounds in these boroughs the experience, skills and connections to prepare for employment in architecture practice.

The architectural profession has been growing faster than any other creative industry in London but structural issues and a poor track record persists and results in a lack of diversity within the industry. Only 7% of all registered architects are people from BAME backgrounds, 37% of all architect jobs in London are held by women and 90% of jobs in the creative economy were done by people in more advantaged socioeconomic groups.

Despite the built environment’s influence on all of our everyday lives, women and Black, Asian and multi-ethnic groups are still under-represented in the professions that shape it. This bias in who gets to shape the cities we live and work in must be corrected. RE—SET—GO will therefore target early career stage individuals (16-24 years old), as well as those seeking to establish independent businesses.

This programme is led by Southwark-based practice We Made That, coordinating with two other female-led architectural practices based in south London; IF-DO and Gort Scott, on programme leadership. The London Practice Forum will provide employment partners from its network of 21 member practices, providing mentoring, work placements and workshops.

RE—SET—GO will make space for excluded voices and pilot ways to build more progressive and representative architectural communities. A number of activities will operate over the coming year, including paid work experience; participative workshops; knowledge exchange events; and 1-to-1 mentoring sessions to support future generations of architects, designers and architecture practices.

Work placements are paid a minimum of the London Living Wage, and all participants are supported by Zone 1-3 travel and subsistence stipend across all activities.

Holly Lewis, Co-founding Partner, We Made That said: “As employers, we have the tools to directly address the structural issues of lack of diversity within the industry. Under-represented individuals setting out on a career path in the architecture profession can benefit from the experience and support that this programme can offer. It is this drive for action that has motivated us to develop the RE—SET—GO initiative with the support of Stride.”

Nisha Kurian, Associate, We Made That said: “It’s indisputable that greater diversity and representation within the architecture sector benefits everybody… If we want to be serious about promoting diversity and inclusion within the architecture profession, we as industry professionals need to be proactive in creating pathways and opportunities for access into the sector for people from lower-income and underrepresented backgrounds.”

Sarah Castle, Founding Director, IF-DO said: “It’s increasingly recognised that embracing diversity is essential to the success of modern planning and urban development… A greater emphasis on interaction and the exchange of ideas can lead to social and economic benefits for our communities.”

Fiona Scott, Founding Director, Gort Scott said: “I love working in architecture and urban design in London, one of the most creative places in the world where you never stop learning. Despite being one of relatively few senior women in my profession I’m also aware of the privilege that underpins this position… I’ve spent 24 years in this industry in London, 13 years as co-founder of my business, and want to use my experience and resources to bring more diversity to the sector.”