Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture + Cities, has been awarded funding of £7,000 from the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Research Fund for her project ‘Exposing the Barriers in Architecture from a Female Architects of Minority Ethnic (FAME) perspective’. 

FAME architecture event flyer

Tumpa Fellows founded FAME Collective, a research-based network which was established to support women of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities in architecture and the built environment. FAME Collective’s research aims to unpack the barriers, inequality and lack of diversity in the industry by responding to the vital need to understand how race and gender affects established practitioners and young scholars and students.

The research is undertaken through a series of symposia that examines the inequality that exists in architecture. The symposia include participatory sessions to explore the impact of racism, injustice and inequality which contribute to the barriers in architecture, providing the opportunity for participants to share their experiences to raise awareness of the barriers faced by women of ethnic minorities, all of which will be documented, examined and reviewed to produce research documents and a film. 

FAME have hosted two symposia on this subject with Architecture Foundation hosting the first and the New London Architecture hosting the second. Both events were mainly tailored for established and emerging practitioners, and the next FAME event will be for students and recent graduates of architecture. Tumpa hopes to work with the School of Architecture + Cities at the University of Westminster and to have several architecture schools collaborate to participate and engage in the FAME research project.

The RIBA Research Fund, which received a record number of applications, is awarded yearly and aims to support individuals at any stage of their career who want to conduct a piece of independent research that will benefit architects and the wider profession. This year, five research projects won funding, with a total amount of £30,000 being awarded to support projects that explore some of the most important social and environmental issues facing architects and society today.

Talking about the funding, Tumpa Fellows said: “I am humbled to be named as a RIBA Research Fund recipient and I am pleased for the recognition of my research project for the FAME Collective. Our aim is to raise awareness of the barriers, inequality and lack of diversity in architecture and the built environment and to demand change that responds to our collective challenges.”

Tumpa is looking for students of architecture to get involved in this project and lead the conversations about the barriers they have faced so far while studying. 

To join or get in touch with FAME, contact [email protected]

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