Exhibits seek to investigate systems of discrimination and disadvantage experienced due to race, class, and gender

Jim Stepehenson 2

Source: Jim Stephenson

An exhibition exploring barriers to career progression faced by female architects from minority ethnic (FAME) backgrounds is currently on display at the RIBA Library at 66 Portland Place.

The exhibition, entitled FAME’s Pathways to Success, has been collaboratively created by the FAME collective, and curated by Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows.

The design of the central exhibit draws inspiration from the traditional Bangladeshi embroidery technique known as nakshi kantha.

This design concept involves utilising layers of recycled fabric and diverse materials to co-design an exhibit that illustrates “pathways to success in architecture,” exploring narratives of lived experiences and barriers from a FAME perspective.


Source: Nica Sabet/FAME collective

The exhibition is located within the RIBA library

FAME collective’s research seeks to investigate systems of discrimination and disadvantage experienced due to race, class, and gender, impacting both established practitioners and aspiring professionals from diverse backgrounds.

The research process employs an intersectional feminist lens, engaging in participatory methods and community involvement to challenge institutions such as the RIBA, ARB, universities, and architectural practices.

The findings have influenced recent policy changes by ARB aimed at removing barriers in architecture and increasing access to the profession for a wider demographic.

The exhibition is intended to serve as a tool for activism, documenting lived experiences and highlighting what the collective regard as systemic inequities within architecture.

It includes a critical review of current data, revealing intersectional barriers at various stages of architectural education and practice.

The FAME collective was established to support women from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities in the field of architecture and the built environment.

Contributors to the exhibition include Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, Hannah Ismail, Stefania Bellato, Grace Izinyon, Alifayah Jariwala, Nica Sabet, Reshma Upadhyaya, Iba Dagny Tony, Scarlett Rose Ryan, Tasnim Huda, and Alex Ford.

The exhibition is open from Monday to Friday between 11am to 5pm, with extended hours until 7pm on Tuesdays.

A guided tour of the exhibition, led by Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, is scheduled for 11 April at 5.30pm, for which bookings are available.