Probing the relationship between research and reality, the RIBA’s President’s Awards for Research tackle pressing issues of our time

One of the challenges of practice is keeping up to date with the best of an enormous amount of research into materials and technologies, cities and communities and history. Those who can find the most relevant thinking and apply it to their projects are rewarded with extra depth, ideas and learning invigorating new schemes – which in turn brings the research to life.

This year the RIBA re-launched its well-respected annual President’s Awards for Research, keeping in mind both those ideas and a special annual theme, Learning from Projects. There were 75 entries from 14 countries. The shortlist was fascinating with research ranging from building performance to anarchist clubs, from how those with dementia might live well in the home to historic town council refurbishment.

Now the winners have been chosen. The papers will be printed by the RIBA Journal’s academic sister publication, The Journal of Architecture, early next year, but for starters we asked each of the winners to tell us what practising architects could usefully learn from their research.


Overall Winner & Winner: History and Theory

Winner: Cities and Community

Winner:  Design and Technical

Winner, annual theme: Learning for Projects


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To answer the question we need to understand what that crisis is, and what it isn’t

Why production rates aren’t the only issue

Architect who prized functionality with creativity, who worked tirelessly on ecclesiastical buildings and who devoted much of his retirement to South Downs Health Trust

Architect who prized functionality and creativity

Use of an experimental render means rainwater has been migrating into the house since it was built. Until a long-term solution can be found, Carmody Groarke's protective structure allows the building to dry out

Carmody Groarke's 'jewel box' for Scottish gem

Action plan makes constructive commitment to tackle climate change

Action plan lays down concrete moves

Six schemes, diverse as always, are within touching distance of the coveted Stirling Prize

Pick your predicted winner