Clare Richards – Episode 34

On the programme this week we speak to the architect Clare Richards.

Clare took an unusual route into architecture. Clare started her career as a researcher for BBC television before joining commercial broadcaster TV-am for its launch in 1983. TV-am was hugely influential as the UK’s first nationwide commercial breakfast television programme. It left a huge legacy on the UK media landscape. Its bold ambition as a television programme was matched architecturally with an iconic modernist building designed by Sir Terry Farrell.

Following a successful television career as a documentary filmmaker, focusing on difficult social and societal problems, she took the bold decision to change direction – enrolling at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London.

She went on to develop her experience of working in collaboration with local communities. Indeed, in 2010 she won the RIBA President’s Medal for her dissertation Happy Communities.

Since qualifying as an architect in 2012 she has chosen an equally unusual path working on a range of projects, often in close collaboration with residents.

She recently founded ft’work, a not-for-profit company with an ambitious aim – to ensure that clear social principles underpin all new development and regeneration.