Alan Jones


  • Room 0G.334 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom


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Research Interests

Alan Jones FRIBA PPRIBA FHEA FRSA Hon FRIAS HonAIA HonRAIC PPRSUA is from N Ireland, and is the Professor of Architecture (Practice & Education). His contribution to practice, education and the architects' profession has been recognised widely across the UK and north America.  He is a registered and chartered architect who has been practising for over twenty years - and a member of Queen's staff since 1998. His interests focus on how supportive cultures can be created, across education, research and business that maximises the potential for students and graduates to realise their personal, educational and professional aspirations.  Alan was the elected global President of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1st September 2019 to 31st August 2021. What was achieved during his presidency is listed here  

President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Ian Greer, commented: “This is a tremendous honour for Alan, Queen’s University Belfast and Northern Ireland. It is a strong endorsement of the important role he plays within the industry.  I am proud to see Alan’s expertise recognised and wish him the very best in his exciting new role as RIBA President.”

Alan has composed and delivered papers at international conferences on architectural knowledge and education and the relationship with practice, government, the construction industry and research. He was a co-author of the  RIBA and ARB criteria for validation/prescription 2004-2011, and was chair of the RIBA Education committee (2015-18). He represented the RIBA on the Architects Council for Europe Education Working Group (2004-8). He has chaired many RIBA Visiting Boards, within the UK and overseas and assists in training of new board members. He has been an invited judge of a number of prizes and awards – including The Royal Gold Medal, The Stirling Prize, The Annie Spink Award, RIBA Presidents Medals, Civic Trust Awards, RIBA Awards and the £25,000 Andrew Doolan prize, and RIAS Awards for new Architecture in Scotland. He has been an expert advisor on design to the Ministerial Advisory Group, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure since 2008, reviewing key projects across Northern Ireland.   He has received numerous awards and commendations for his design work.

Research Statement

I focus on the debate around, and the development of, the relationship between the education of architects, research, practice and the profession.  I believe it is that multi-faceted approach and understanding that helped me be successful in 2018 of being elected the next President of the Royal Institute of British Architects.  My scholarly activity focuses activity has been informed by my own critical practice, teaching and being Director of Education (Architecture) 2008-16, my long-standing involvement with the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Society of Ulster Architects Council – and many other contexts set out in my Academic CV.  I like to lead by example and to engage with role models and contributors to articulate the variety of histories and experiences, perspectives and positions in the industry (in its widest form) to give advice and explore potential futures of our profession and graduates of architecture.  I like to combine activities, roles and creation of outputs when possible.  Demonstrating the many roles within the architects' profession and that of graduates has been the purpose of my project In 2012 I arranged and led two well attended and documented public events "Architecture: But not as we know it" and "The Values of Architects and Architecture", helping the practitioners, students and educators to frame potential new forms of practice and engagement with society, development and government.    My 2019 book (with R Hyde) “Defining contemporary professionalism – for architects in practice and education” RIBA Publishing is another collection – of over 40 contributors from various contexts and locations (UK Ireland USA Australia) exploring and defining the risk and opportunities for contemporary professionalism in the current post-Grenfell, digital, eroded professional context.  I have also explored construction and how architectural tectonics can be designed and created simple and readily available materials with my non-textual designs/constructions published in technical and professional reference books and journals.


- President of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1st September 2019 to 31st August 2021. What was achieved during his presidency is listed here

- President-elect of the Royal Institute of British Architects 2018-19.  Winning the election of the 45,000 worldwide RIBA membership, the role of President-elect is for one year, with the two-year role as president commencing 1st September 2019.  Alan will be the first RIBA president from Northern Ireland. Described by our Vice Chancellor Prof Ian Greer as "A tremendous honour for Alan, Queen's University Belfast and Northern Ireland. It is a strong endorsement of the important role he plays in the industry. I am proud to see Alan's expertise recognised...."

- Director of Professional Practice, School of Natural and Built Environment.  A new role exploring the opportunities across all the disciplines in the school to reflect and exploit the evolving nature of professionalism and practice in contemporary society.

- Director of Education (Architecture) (Joint head of Architecture), Queen's University Belfast, 2008-2016 (Through competitive application and interview).

- Elected Vice President (Education), Chair of the RIBA Education Committee, Royal Institute of British Architects, 2015-18

- Member of the Board, Royal Institute of British Architects, 2015-18 and 2018-2022.

- Awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (Other honorary fellows include S Calitrava, N Foster, R Rogers, R Maneo and The Duke of Edinburgh) - March 2016.

- Awarded Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects, for his "contribution to Practice, Education and the Profession".  December 2016

- External Examiner, RIBA & ARB Part 1 + 2, University of Dundee, 2014-2018 (With Valerie Mulvin, Professor G Murray, Professor D Porter)

- External UG Examiner, RIBA & ARB Part 1, Manchester School of Architecture - 2008-2012

 - External PG Examiner, RIBA & ARB Part 2, University of Nottingham, 2017-18.


The interaction between architectural education, practice and the profession - and how collaboration can bring mutual benefit and long term enhancement.



Alan Jones Architects Ltd, N Ireland, (since 1997)

David Morley Architects, London (Building Journal's Young Practice of the year 1998) 1995-1998

Michael Hopkins & Partners, London (RIBA Gold Medal 1994) 1988-1995



Since 1998 Alan has taught across the spectrum of architectural education; design, theory, technical and environmental design, professional skills and career development, management practice and law.

Teaching expertise and quality recognised through:

2019 Invited speaker at the Radical Practice Symposium, Royal College of Art, London. 

2018 and 2016 Judge, Annie Spink Bi-Annual Award for Exellence in Architectural Education.  Other members of judging panel included Prof Alan Penn, Dean of the Bartlett, UCL & Prof Susannah Hagan, University of Westminster.

2017 External critical friend / advisor for periodic review of Architecture Programmes:  Plymouth University.

2017, 2016 & 2015 Judge RIBA President's Student Medals for Architecture Education - Bronze & Silver.

2016 External critical friend / advisor for periodic review of Architecture Programmes:  Cardiff University.

2016 Honorary Fellowship Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland "...for services to architectural eductaion".

2012 Judge: Scottish Awards in Architectural Education.

2008 External critical friend / advisor for periodic review of Architecture Programmes:  University of Bath, De Montfort University.

2000 Award: Sole recipient of a Teaching Award, Queen's University Belfast.

Invited reviewer of design at: The University of Cambridge, University College Dublin, Mackintosh School of Architecture Glasgow, Bath University, Technical University Delft.



Design Awards, Commendations, Mentions and Exhibitions

As architect, Alan Jones / Alan Jones Architects

Alley Theatre & Conference Centre, Strabane (in partnership with G Howells)

2008    Award: RIBA Award for Architecture – Shortlisted

2008    Award: RSUA Design Award 2008 for Projects up to £3M category 2006-8

2008    Shortlisted: RSUA Liam McCormick Prize

New Dwelling, Randalstown

2007    Award: RIBA Award for Architecture

2007    Shortlisted: Manser Medal - Innovation in housing design & construction

2007    Exhibition: RIAI; New Architecture Exhibition

2006    Award: RSUA Design Award 2004-6: Residential category

Office for a Coffee Importer, Belfast

2004    Special Mention: Architectural Association of Ireland AAI Awards

Addition to a farmhouse, Cranfield Co Antrim

1999    Award: RIBA Award for Architecture

1999    Exhibition: RIAI; New Architecture Exhibition

1999    Shortlisted; Peugeot Design Awards

As lead architect / senior architect with D Morley Architects / Michael Hopkins & Partners

New shop at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London

1997    Mention: Building Construction Industry Awards

1997    Award: RIBA Award for Architecture

1997    Mention: Structural Steel Awards

New HQ building for England and Wales Cricket Board, Lord’s, London

1997    Highly Commended: Building Construction Industry Awards

1997    Certificate of Merit: Structural Steel Award

1997    Award: RIBA Award for Architecture

New Centre for the Inland Revenue, Nottingham

1994    Highly Commended: Green Building of the Year Award

1994    Award: Concrete Society Award

1994    Award: Civic Trust Award for Energy

1994    Award: Brick Award: Best Commercial & Industrial Building             

Schlumberger Cambridge Research, Phase II

1993    Commendation: Financial Times Architecture at Work Award

1992    Highly commended: Sunday Times/Royal Fine Arts Commission Building of the Year

1992    Award: RIBA Award for Architecture

1992    Commendation: Concrete Society Award


1988    Royal Ulster Academy: Redland Architecture Drawing Prize  

1987    Royal Scottish Academy: Architecture Drawing Prize



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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