Jane Duncan

Jane established her architectural practice in 1992, having trained at the Bartlett School, University College London.  The practice specialises in high end residential schemes and works on historic and listed buildings, as well as challenging commercial, education, leisure, school and community buildings, principally throughout the South of England.  She is a member of her local Community Action Group and chaired the area’s Revitalisation Group.

Jane has been a campaigner for better business skills in architecture and has always been a vocal and effective champion of diversity in practice: she was the first ever Equality & Diversity Champion at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Jane was elected president of the RIBA in 2015, only the third woman to hold this office, on a ticket that focused on increasing diversity across the profession.  During her two-year tenure as President, her initiatives included setting up the RIBA diversity Role Models, introducing mentoring and guidance, and EDI policies for both Chartered Practices and the Institute.  She also established YADA, a network bringing together young architects and developers.

In order to offer opportunities for all bright pupils to study architecture, regardless of their social and economic backgrounds, Jane spearheaded a change to the education of architects, to enable diverse and affordable routes into the profession, including the introduction of Architecture Apprenticeships.

As RIBA President Jane travelled the world, talking to architects and students on key issues, including sustainable design and the business case for increased diversity.  She was made an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an Honorary Doctor of Design at UWE, and awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2018 for services to diversity in the profession.

As Chair of the RIBA’s Expert Panel on Fire Safety since the Grenfell disaster, Jane’s current drive is to influence government regulation, while also improving the culture of technical quality and accountability in the profession.  She writes and speaks widely at professional panels and in the media, meeting MPs and industry leaders to discuss the effect that the built environment has on health, wellbeing and safety.

Jane is President of the Architects Benevolent Society, actively supporting its mental health awareness and COVID emergency campaigns.