Leeds School of Arts

RIBA Yorkshire Schools Symposium

On April 7th 2021 Leeds Beckett Architecture students participated in a daylong event organised by RIBA Yorkshire, bringing them together with other architecture students from across Yorkshire.

Following a second academic year disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, one area to really suffer are hands-on arts based courses such as those delivered by the Leeds School of Arts. This loss has been acutely felt by Architecture students who usually gain a rich supplementary layer to their curricula through the vicarious learning and informal conversations of studio culture with fellow students and tutors.

Wanting to redress this issue in some small way, RIBA Yorkshire’s Special Education Interest Group, chaired by Leeds School of Architecture Senior Lecturer and Project Office co-director Craig Stott, organised what proved to be an excellent and engaging day focusing on skill development and recruitment.

Over 100 attending students, representing all six Yorkshire Architecture schools, were treated to a Q&A Panel session discussing the differences between practice sizes represented by BDP, Pearce Bottomley and EDG, a tremendous sketching workshop provided by Howarth Litchfield Architects, a top-tips lecture by RIBA Jobs, an interactive session replicating site visits ran by Live Site Project, a mini-mentoring opportunity for students to gain feedback on their CV aided by fifteen local practitioners, culminating in a keynote by Arkle Boyce charting their journey from student to practice directors. 

In addition, a sketching competition was held with three winners being chosen, two of whom were Leeds Beckett students; Nour Al Ali & Elena Mirica. All the fantastic entries can be seen on Instagram using #yorkshiresymposium.

Student feedback from the event has been very positive with comments such as:

“I feel like my sketching skills have got lost throughout university as I began learning various software. This is extremely helpful to understand how I can bring it back into my portfolio.”


“This is really reassuring, thank you. Today has been really useful for addressing my employment worries.”

Many thanks go out to all participants, both student and practitioners, and all the hard work put in by the RIBA Yorkshire team to organise the event.

Nour Al Ali

Craig Stott

Senior Lecturer / Leeds School Of Arts

Craig Stott (MEng, BArch, MA, ARB) is a Project Office co-director, Architect and Senior Architecture Lecturer at the Leeds School of Architecture, Leeds Beckett University.

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