Alex de Rijke and Kate Darby in conversation with Marie Bak Mortensen

Friday 21 September | 4.30pm–5.30pm

Alex de Rijke founded London-based architects dRMM in 1995. He was the project architect for the design of Hastings Pier, which in 2017 won architecture’s top honour, the RIBA Stirling Prize. Kate Darby is the principal of Kate Darby Architects, an architecture and design practice based in Herefordshire. KDA won the AJ Small Projects Award in 2017 and received the RIBA West Midlands Award.

In conversation with Head of Exhibitions at RIBA, Marie Bak Mortensen, these two leading architects will discuss their approach to working in non-urban environments, integrating contemporary architectural practice with vernacular and historic buildings and surrounding landscape.


More about Alex de Rijke, Kate Darby and Marie Bak Mortensen

Alex de Rijke is a founding director of the Stirling Prize winning architecture practice dRMM. He oversees the concept, construction and delivery of well-known timber projects, including Maggie’s Oldham; Rundeskogen in Norway; Sliding House, Endless Stair, Tower of Love in Blackpool; Kingsdale School Hall and the 2017 Stirling Prize winning Hastings Pier. Through his leadership, dRMM has become a recognised pioneer in engineered timber design and construction.

As dean of Architecture at the Royal College of Art from 2012-2015, he encouraged design leadership as well as a culture of invention, research, and speculation with an emphasis on construction. Alex is a visiting professor to the Royal College of Art  and external examiner to the London Architectural Association

Kate Darby is a RIBA chartered architect and principal of KDA. She studied architecture at the Bartlett and the Architectural Association. She has combined practice with teaching and research since 1997. She is currently leader of Unit XV, a 5th year design studio at WSA, Cardiff University. She has been a tutor for Design and Make at the AA in Hooke Park with particular involvement in the Boiler House project. She is co-founder of Collaborative Workshop, Studio in the Woods and is a collaborator in the design practice Invisible Studio.

In 2017 Kate Darby and David Connor won the AJ Small Project Award for their project, Croft Lodge Studio. This project also won a RIBA West Midlands Award and was a nominee in the Beazley Design of the Year 2017 Awards, hosted by the Design Museum.

Marie Bak Mortensen is currently Head of Exhibitions at RIBA where she oversees the commissioning and curatorial side of exhibitions, installations and public events. She introduced an annual commission for the Architecture Gallery, which has included The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and artist Simon Terrill (2015) and the 2017 exhibition by artist Pablo Bronstein. She also co-commissioned the large-scale public installation A Hull for Hall by Chile-based architects Pezo von Ellrichshausen and Swiss artist Felice Varini as part of UK City of Culture and co-curated the exhibition Mies van der Rohe & James Stirling: Circling the Square.

Prior to RIBA, Marie worked at Tate for six years on their national programming, the Architects’ Association of Denmark and the Danish Design Centre in Copenhagen. She is educated from the University of Copenhagen and University College London with an MA in Modern Culture and Curatorial Studies and a BA in Comparative Literature. She is currently a Design Panel Member of the HS2 and was part of the 2016 Venice Biennale curatorial selection panel for the British Pavilion.  

Marie Bak Mortensen, Kate Darby and Alex de Rijke
Marie Bak Mortensen, Kate Darby and Alex de Rijke