IN INDUSTRY LAST UPDATED : 03 DECEMBER 2021
RIBA Radio is a pop-up radio station hosted by Marsha Ramroop, former BBC journalist and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)’s first Director of Inclusion & Diversity. Across the week, Marsha hosted a lively mixture of music, interviews, discussions and debate featuring special guests from across the worlds of architecture, design, arts, culture, and sport, as well as key leaders from the worlds of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
With a focus on promoting diversity and inclusive practice, RIBA Radio aims to help architects and designers build inclusion into all aspects of their work.
Alongside her postgraduate study, Jasmine is Head of Events and Outreach for Decolonise Architecture, a student-led initiative which aims to open a dialogue addressing systemic racism and institutional bias in architecture and its education. The group was founded at the University of Bath in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, and has gone on to make connections with Glasgow School of Art, Cardiff University and Germany’s Bauhaus University.
As part of the RIBA Radio programme, Jasmine and fellow Decolonise Architecture committee member Harsha Gore, took part in a discussion with Dr Neal Shasore, Head of School and CEO of the London School of Architecture, and Dr Corinne Fowler, Professor at University of Leicester and Specialist in colonialism, to share their views and experiences of decolonising universities.
The panel members discussed the need to provide architecture students with a broader historical and cultural context, the importance of recognising the colonial history of RIBA and other key organisations, and the benefits of embracing global design cultures and knowledge systems.
Discussing the work of Decolonise Architecture, Jasmine said: “I believe decolonisation requires a top-down approach to be truly effective, and we have been fortunate to work very closely with the heads of Department at the University of Bath who have always listened and acted on our suggestions.
We were able to implement initiatives including a report tool on Moodle and anti-bias guidance for visiting critics to student reviews, and the Department have already begun to reflect and act upon aspects of the curriculum within the scope of RIBA accreditation requirements. We have published articles and think-pieces with RIBA Journal to share our work, and hope to one day see more of these initiatives channelled through the RIBA, both at academic and professional levels, to see holistic change nationwide.”
MArch Architecture Course Director, Alessandro Columbano commented: “We are proud of Jasmine’s contribution to this important conversation that is occurring in architecture education. Decolonise Architecture, as a relatively young organisation, has made significant impact nationally, highlighting the challenges staff and students face in responding to the societal changes raised in institutions after the BLM protests.”
Jasmine is developing her thesis in the Extinction Rebellion Architecture Unit, where her thesis project reimagines sustainable patterns of development along water networks in Dudley.