Birmingham Architectural Association VP (2019-2021)
Birmingham Architectural Association’s Outgoing Vice President (2019-2021) and Architect, Amy Francis-Smith.
What an absolute honour it has been to represent the city of Birmingham and the Architectural community!
I have loved being the Vice-President of the Birmingham Architectural Association these past 2 years. When I first took up the role, little did I know that in a few short months we’d be having to flip our strategy from in-person events to keeping the community together through digital engagement.
It is with a heavy heart that I will not be taking up the Presidency for the next term due to other commitments, however I have every faith in the team to take the BAA into an exciting new era.
With the stellar President Marina Strotz and Honourable Secretary Alison Doran at the helm, along with the collective force of the committee, the BAA managed to grow into an internationally recognised voice of the industry!
When the BAA relaunched in 2018, I had recently moved to the area so didn’t know anyone. Through joining the committee and then part of the Presidential team, I have never felt so supported and amongst friends; a true testament of the kindness and generosity of all involved.
I shall always be immensely proud of what we have achieved, especially as part of the first all-female leadership team.
I am particularly glad I was able to use my position to promote Inclusive Design and establish the BAA Student Ambassadors programme. Initially bringing together Part 1 to PhDs from BCU, Coventry and Wolverhampton; now moving into its second year, we’ll be expanding to 5 universities and a whole raft of additional construction and sustainability courses.
I look forward to seeing what direction the BAA will take and hope to still be involved (if somewhat more on the peripheral!) in the future.
Thank you all for your ongoing support and hope to see you at an event in the city soon.
Amy Francis-Smith is an Architect for Pinnegar Hayward Design, an Access Consultant and a passionate advocate for Inclusive Design. With her work and research focused on providing decent housing and accommodations across the Built Environment for those with a spectrum of disabilities.
In 2021 she was named as the RIBAJ’s Rising Stars, Archiboo Activist Award Winner, a Design Council Expert and joined the Design Midlands panel review. She was shortlisted from 64,000 for the National Diversity Award Positive Disability Role Model, featured in the Architects’ Journal, on the Shaw Trust’s 2020 & 2021 Power 100 list alongside the UK’s top most influential Disabled people in the UK and as a UK Construction Week Role Model.
She was also named as one of Birmingham Live’s 2019 30 under 30 and invited to become an ambassador for the Architects Benevolent Society, whom the BAA have been supporting closely as a result.
Campaigning for legislative change, she gives talks to educate students and professionals of their social responsibility, sits on Habinteg’s advisory board (an accessible housing association) lobbying government to improve the Building Regulations and has had numerous articles published. She also helped run a pilot course at The Bartlett bringing blind and visually impaired students into Architectural education.
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