Sustainability and Climate Literacy Working Group
The new RIBA Climate Literacy Knowledge Schedule provides a firm structure for enabling students and practitioners to have a relevant degree of awareness, knowledge and expertise in relation to the headings, without prescribing the levels expected within Schools of Architecture and leaving it to individual Schools to establish their curricula.
This report provides a national overview of staff climate literacy skills for architecture and is the first step in a two-phase process. It shows what levels of awareness, understanding and expertise currently exist in schools in relation to validation requirements.
The report builds on initiatives from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), The Cross-Industry Action Group (for Climate Framework), Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN) and the formation of the Standing Conference of Schools of Architecture (SCOSA) Climate Literacy working group. It provides an outline commentary on a survey completed in 2021 by schools of architecture across the UK, collaboratively instigated by SCOSA, Climate Framework, ACAN and the RIBA, and hosted by the RIBA. The intent of this work is to help in mainstreaming climate literacy in all architecture schools using the RIBA Climate Literacy Knowledge schedule as a basis. This voluntary survey was open to all UK Schools of Architecture, whether validated by the RIBA or prescribed by the ARB. The findings are based on 58 responses out of a possible 64 schools of architecture; and covers both Part 1 and Part 2 courses. Part 3 is not addressed in this report due to the limited number of responses received.
There is an opportunity in Phase 2 of this initiative to find out from Schools what type of further support they would like in order to develop various curricula areas related to the RIBA’s Climate Literacy Schedule. This might take the form of a supported dialogue within each School to identify requirements based on a common set of questions related to the Schedule. A particular challenge lies in understanding the difference between student perceptions of staff skills and resources available and how staff perceive this.