National Panel

The Civic Trust Awards National Panel is a representative group of experts who firstly uphold the integrity and ethos of the Civic Trust Awards, but are also required to make the final decision on the level of awards to be given, ensuring national (and international) consistency.

The main objectives of the group are:

  • To ensure the integrity and ethos of the Civic Trust Awards scheme is maintained
  • To act as a reference group to represent stakeholders and advise on the strategic development and direction of the Civic Trust Awards scheme (including application, assessor and judging criteria)
  • To help to promote, support and provide guidance to the Civic Trust Awards scheme

Each of the National Panel Members have agreed to:

  • Attend National Panel meetings arranged at a suitable frequency and use email to share interim issues and decisions
  • To comment on operational delivery plans and other governing documents including the communication strategy, publicity and assessor materials
  • Act as champions for the Civic Trust Awards scheme and promote the effectiveness of the scheme in recognising excellence in the built environment and inspiring higher standards of urban design, planning, management and maintenance
  • Help seek sponsorship opportunities for the Civic Trust Awards
  • Ensure the scheme is complementary to other built environment activity and awards

Keith Williams (Chair)

Keith became chair of Civic Trust Awards National Panel in December 2015, after first joining the Panel in 2011. He is a chartered architect and urban designer, and is the founder and director of design at Keith Williams Architects in London. Keith’s firm works internationally across a broad range of sectors, and has received nearing 40 national and international design awards for his projects, which include a number of Civic Trust Awards. Noted for his work on cultural and civic buildings, his many projects include inter alia the Unicorn Theatre, Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, Wexford Opera House, Ireland and the Novium Museum, Chichester. Keith is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He sits on numerous design review and awards panels, has judged a great many architectural competitions, and his work has been published worldwide. He has lectured widely on architecture and his firm’s work, and in 2009 was made Honorary Visiting Professor of Architecture at Zhengzhou University, China.

David Prichard

David is a director of Metropolitan Workshop LLP. The practice’s recent work embraces architectural, urban design and regional planning commissions for government agencies, local authorities and major developers in Ireland, Norway, Jordan, Libya, Sudan and the UK. David has been a RIBA external examiner, guest critic and lectured at numerous universities and judged several awards and international competitions. As a Civic Trust Awards assessor for many years, David was invited onto the National Panel of judges which he has chaired since 2004.

Aileen Wiswell MBE

Aileen has had a long career in the civil service covering over 38 years in a variety of roles and departments. Joining the Government Property Unit in 2011 (Now the Government Property Agency) , she is currently the Whitehall Campus Lead working with all departments across Whitehall. Aileen previously held the role of Regional Lead for the Western Region and Wales where she had responsibility for strategic development of the Cross Government Hubs programme.  She also works across all government departments helping to drive savings through rationalisation of the mandated civil estate in order to achieve a fit for purpose estate that is best value and contributes to growth. Aileen received an MBE in 2010 for her contribution to charities and is currently a trustee with Citizens Advice and the Irish Community Care Merseyside. She also currently works for Landaid and the Charles Halle Foundation. 

Chris Harding

Chris, a Principal at BDP, has over 25 years’ experience designing master plans and buildings for all life’s activities. In his role as Chair of the Architectural Profession for the practice he champions a place making for the modern world approach. He was previously Head of the Education Sector for the practice and is particularly passionate about creating user centred environments. His work in has received the highest acclaim winning major design awards including Civic Trust. He has worked on some of the firms major projects ranging from the Channel Tunnel UK Terminal, the All England Lawn Tennis Championship facilitates and multiple education projects including campus master plans and buildings for the University of London, Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Cambridge, University of Bournemouth, University of Sunderland, London South Bank University, Anglia Ruskin University and University of South Wales. Chris regularly speaks at conferences including the OECD Innovative Spaces for Learning International Conference in RIGA, and INTAs Roundtable Design Workshop exploring the transformation of the SGH School of Economics campus in Warsaw, Poland. Chris was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of South Wales for his pivotal role in the design and construction of the multi award-winning City Campus in 2012.   

Neal Charlton

Neal is a Director at Buttress Architects and an AABC registered conservation architect. After receiving a Civic Trust AABC Conservation Award in 2015, Neal was asked to join the AABC Board and judge the Conservation Awards in 2016. Neal also represents conservation at the Civic Trust National Awards panel. He has undertaken many projects in sensitive historic environments, including modern interventions on scheduled monuments. The Buttress studio’s work includes the public and private sectors, the urban and the rural, the residential and commercial, the traditional and the contemporary, and is internationally renowned for exceptional skills in heritage and conservation. 

John Davies

John Davies is the Head of Sustainability at Derwent London plc, and is responsible for creating and leading the company wide sustainability agenda. John is a highly experienced sustainability management professional, and is recognised as an expert in several sectors, in particular commercial property, and has developed and led the creation of many industry leading sustainability programmes and strategies.  He writes extensively in the sustainability press and sits on many industry panels and committees. Prior to joining Derwent London John was Head of Sustainability at Davis Langdon LLP where was responsible for developing and delivering its range of sustainability services and forming strong relationships across its key client base. Before joining Davis Langdon John worked in the client domain as a sustainability advisor on range of major projects and organisations, most notably at BAA plc, where he lead the sustainability agenda within the T5 design phase and the £10bn Capital Projects function.

Isabel Allen

Isabel Allen is the Design Director of HAB Housing, a design-led residential development company which she co-founded with Kevin McCloud in 2007. She was the Editor of The Architect’s Journal from 1999 to 2007; a member of the Stirling Prize jury from 2003 to 2006; a consultant to the London Development Agency from 2007 to 2012 and has curated and co-curated a series of national and international exhibitions on urbanism and the public realm. She is an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA.

David Dropkin FRSA

As a practitioner with an interest in access, inclusion and user-centric design for over 20 years, David’s specialism, as an associate in BuroHappold Engineering Inclusive Design team, is delivering strategic consultancy to masterplanning and architectural teams, providing a range of services across business sectors for new and existing developments, including design appraisal, technical guidance, access strategy and policy in the UK, Eire and Middle East. He has a keen interest in challenging perceptions about disability and believes in delivering projects that embrace seamless provision for disabled and non-disabled people alike. David is a Consultant Member of the National Register of Access Consultants and a Certified Interior Designer in the State of California.  He is co-author of the Metric Handbook chapter on access and inclusion and was a contributor to the Olympic Delivery Authority Inclusive Design Standards. He has sat on the judging panel for the RSA Student Design Awards ‘Inclusive Cities’ award and supports the Civic Trust as a universal design assessor, a National Panel member and as a Selwyn Goldsmith Awards panel member.

Julian Robinson

Julian is Director of Estates at the London School of Economics, responsible for the delivery of all capital development and facilities and property management at the School. Formerly Project Director at Queen Mary University of London. Projects delivered include a new medical school and students’ village at Queen Mary, the New Academic Building and the RIBA London Building of the Year 2014, the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the LSE. The LSE was named AJ100 Client of the Year 2014. Julian was a CABE Enabler, is Deputy Chair of the Higher Education Design Quality Forum, Trustee/Director of the EKO Multi Academy Trust in east London and Board Director and Vice Chair of the Northbank Business Improvement District. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA in 2016.

Priya Khanchandani

Priya Khanchandani is Editor of Icon Magazine. She is a writer, researcher and the Curator of the India Pavilion at London Design Biennale 2018. Previously, she worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum as lead of the Design Fund for contemporary acquisitions and then as Head of Arts Programmes for India at the British Council. Priya graduated from Cambridge University in Modern Languages and went on to take an MA in the History of Design with Distinction from the Royal College of Art. She has since published widely, from Bloomsbury’s Encyclopaedia of Design to Frieze, and spoken at numerous festivals, conferences and on BBC Radio 4. Priya's arts expertise is enhanced by her postgraduate diploma in law and initial career as a lawyer at magic circle firm Clifford Chance. A former Trustee of Chisenhale Gallery, she now co-runs Museum Detox, a collective campaigning for diversity in the arts, and is a Trustee of Engage.

Geoff Saynor

Geoff is Regional Design Manager for Sir Robert McAlpine in Central, Wales & West region.  With 35 years experience in the construction industry, starting as a site engineer but with the majority of his career as a Design Manager, Geoff has developed an awareness and an understanding of the benefits of good contractor involvement in the design process.  Using this experience has helped him to inform the design approach and to ensure that construction is carried out with a clear awareness and understanding of the design objectives.

Joining Sir Robert McAlpine in 1998 he has been closely involved with a number of important, challenging and award winning projects including Victoria Gate retail development in Leeds, the Business School and Student Hub and the Birley Fields academic campus for Manchester Metropolitan University, the new Municipal office for Rochdale MBC and, at the start of the millennium, the Imperial War Museum North at Trafford Park.

Through all of these Geoff has maintained an approach which recognises the importance of having a clear understanding of the detail of the design, respecting the constraints of time and cost but at the same time providing the confidence that the design objectives and the desired quality of the finished building will be delivered through the construction process.