Muyiwa Oki has been elected as the next President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), one of the highest positions in UK architecture. As RIBA’s first Black President, Muyiwa Oki will take over the two-year presidential term from Simon Alfred starting on 1 September 2023.
Muyiwa Oki is an architect at construction consultancy, Mace Group. While working at Grimshaw Architects, he founded the Multi-Ethnic Group and Allies network to drive cultural change in the architectural profession. Oki is an external speaker and mentor for aspiring architects in programs that encourage greater social mobility within the industry. Throughout his career as an architect, he has worked on large-scale infrastructure projects, such as HS2 Euston and the North London heat and power project.
Oki stood for election as RIBA President, alongside Jo Bacon and Sumita Singha. After the election, current president Simon Allford congratulated Oki for his campaign and electoral manifesto focused on the future of the profession in a time when RIBA hopes to become a leaner, more agile organization to support and engage with all those with an interest in architecture.
After his election, Oki said: “I am grateful to the grassroots movement whose support and passion offered a platform to represent architectural workers. Most of all, a special thanks to those members and nominators that responded to this movement, tuned in, and voted – especially those that did so for the first time. We can be proud of an election where people of colour, at different stages of their careers, of all identities, can be heard and seen bidding to represent the profession.
“I hope this is the start of many great things to come for those who feel disenfranchised and under-represented. I am proud of my campaign, the discourse has been positive, energetic, and inspirational. It has been a privilege to run alongside Jo and Sumita and as RIBA council and Board members, I am looking forward to working with you both to deliver equity, transparency, and innovation in architecture.”
Oki has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture from the University of Sheffield. He is the first black (in 185 years) and the youngest ever president of the institute at the age of 31.