Lesley Lokko Endorses LSA Trustee Simon Allford for RIBA presidency
In a letter to the RIBA Board, Lokko wrote:
Having known Simon for many years, and in many different capacities and contexts, I have come to regard him as one of the most important architect-educators in the UK today. This dual role, shared with his business partner, Paul Monaghan, has shaped his thinking and practice for as long as I have known him. For some practitioners, forays into teaching come about through circumstance; for others, the ability to move between those two worlds and bridge both simultaneously, is simply an extension of character and personality. His life-long interest in why architects and architecture matter, is as deeply-held and profound as his interest and expertise in how architects and architecture are made. Having built AHMM into one of Britain’s most recognisable and prolific firms, the partners have carved out a unique position that is both profitable and ethical, as embedded and interested in the social fabric of their projects and contexts as they are passionate about innovation and risk-taking.
On a personal level, Simon has the rare gift of broad and inspiring vision, coupled with excellent organisational skills. This ability to think at both macro- and micro scales means that ideas become actionable. The Canadian-American management consultant makes a point about leadership, which I think perfectly encapsulates Simon’s leadership approach and style: ‘leaders think and talk about the solutions. Followers think and talk about the problems.’
I cannot think of anyone more suited, qualified and apt to take on this new challenge. The RIBA could not be in better hands.