BARTLETT WHISTLEBLOWING | THE RIBA BLOCKS VENUE HIRE TO ME
In January 2022 I asked the RIBA if I could rent one of its spaces to use as a dressing room so that I could shoot my collection Time to Rebuild outside its well-known Art Deco façade. I was transparent about the fact that the collection was an architectural collection inspired by my activist experiences with regards to UCL and that Bartlett alumni would be modelling the collection. I loved the concept and believed the RIBA had no reason to decline my booking. The RIBA has often been criticised for being backwards, particularly on matters surrounding Equality Diversity and Inclusion, so I was hoping for a positive response as it would have shown the RIBA turning a new, progressive leaf for the better. Instead, the RIBA in fact declined my booking.
It felt as if the accusers and I were being shamed, it made no sense to me as we were not the ones under investigation, so the RIBA's reasoning of “impartiality while the investigation is ongoing” seemed illogical. Even though this was before Howlett Brown had published their report, UCL had already acknowledged at this point that “unacceptable behaviour takes place at the Bartlett”, so the fact that the RIBA was basically putting our credibility in question by declining us was shocking. Will Ing wrote the below piece for the Architects Journal.