Aidan Ridyard and Ibrahim Buhari become Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts

We are delighted to announce that Aidan Ridyard and Ibrahim Buhari have been invited to become Fellows of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), whose mission is to enrich society through ideas and action.

The Society believes that all human beings have creative capacities that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st century enlightenment. Supported by their Fellows, they share powerful ideas, carry out cutting-edge research and build networks and opportunities for people to collaborate, helping to create fulfilling lives and a flourishing society. Their activities aim to strengthen, empower and mobilise networks to work together in taking on today’s most pressing social challenges and combine to produce real social change.

Ibrahim Buhari (left) and Aidan Ridyard (right) in the Vikki Heywood Room at the Rawthmells Coffeehouse, at the RSA

Ibrahim Buhari (left) and Aidan Ridyard (right) in the Vikki Heywood Room at the Rawthmells Coffeehouse, at the RSA

Aidan is a Principal in the practice with a particular passion for the design of spaces for teaching, learning and research, a philosophy running through a series of projects from schools to universities. He has taught at several universities in the UK and is active in an ongoing programme of research, notably into the effectiveness of learning spaces in higher education. At his previous practice, Aidan designed the Alison Gingell Building for Coventry University which opened last year and is transforming educational opportunities for nurses, paramedics, midwives and other health professionals. It houses a range of innovative healthcare simulation facilities, including an ambulance, hospital wards, intensive care unit and operating theatre. It also includes professional-standard science laboratories, Olympic-grade fitness and sports research areas and a sports therapy clinic which is open to the public. At BFF Aidan is currently leading the design team for the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre at Cranfield University, which will spearhead the UK’s research into digital aviation technology. 

Ibrahim is an Architect with a commitment to increasing diversity within the architectural profession, and in the construction industry in general, to redress the underrepresentation of professionals from BAME backgrounds. He is a member of RIBA Architects for Change, an expert advisory group on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He is a mentor on the Career Pathways program, a mentoring programme for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. He has mentored secondary school pupils, providing guidance on career paths in support of the students' particular interests. He is a mentor on the University of East London’s ‘Centre for Student Success’ (CfSS) mentoring scheme – a program which connects industry professionals with undergraduate architecture students with the aim of providing insight into professional practice and guidance on accessing the industry. Ibrahim’s projects at BFF have included the award-winning Depot Community Cinema in Lewes and Campbeltown Picture House.

Aidan and Ibrahim were both part of the BFF design team for the recently completed major refurbishment and remodelling of the headquarters of the Royal Society of Arts in their Grade I and Grade II* buildings in John Adam Street London, an ambitious project to create an enlightenment coffeehouse. As well as providing superb coffee and excellent all-day dining, the Rawthmells Coffeehouse provides innovative spaces designed to foster collaboration.