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First Filipino architect elevated as fellow by Royal Institute of British Architects

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First Filipino architect elevated as fellow by Royal Institute of British Architects
PRESS RELEASE: Lira Luis is named a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects

This is a press release.

Lira Luis is honored to have been named a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), a marker of her significant contribution to architecture and the built environment. She is one of the 10  elevated as 2020 RIBA Fellow Members.

The Fellowship Panel recommended her to the RIBA Council, who elected her as a Fellow of the RIBA. RIBA Director of Membership Neil Smith shared the Panel was “impressed by the range of her activities aimed at helping others”, including her work for disaster victims.

“The Panel commended her proactive and exciting work, and praised her sustained and energetic contribution, which is affecting real change,” Smith shared.

The community of RIBA Fellows highlights the incredible diversity of individuals and their contributions to architecture — a testament of what can be achieved with hard work, commitment, and vision. Fellows of the RIBA have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate the importance of affecting and influencing change in the profession that inspires new strides in architecture.”

“Becoming a RIBA Fellow is an honor for me that empowers and enables equity through participation in its platform that advocates and celebrates many architectural voices in one profession. Also, RIBA is a large professional organization that has the nimbleness of the small grassroots…. an old institute founded in 1834 that is nimble to new ideas and voices that reflect our changing world,” said Luis, FRIBA, AIA, NCARB, CEM, LEED AP.

This RIBA Fellowship, in conjunction with a recent recognition of Luis as 2019 Most Innovative Businesswomen in Diverse Architecture by the UK’s Voice of Modern Business A.I., is a testament to her proactive and exciting work.

Luis, who also received the 2010 AIA Athena Young Professional Leadership Award for “contributing time and energy to improving her community’s quality of life” continues with these advocacies through collaborations with UN Women USA and other NGOs.

She formed an architecture career for the benefit of others through research and innovation. As Taliesin Fellow for Taliesin Architects Ltd, she revived the underutilized System-Built Homes, Frank Lloyd Wright’s foundational project, resulting in the reduction of blight in a disadvantaged city block of New Jersey.

Her research and development of Leapfrog Project’s “Living Ball” enabled self-sufficient empowerment of extreme weather survivors through geodesic constructions. In her Magnetic Levitation Experiment, she developed new architectural solutions to help island nations overcome rapidly rising sea levels. 

She mentored young women and minorities about 3D Printing, Architecture Technology, and licensure at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Westwood College, and Scottsdale Community College, including the UN 2030 Youthforce. –

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