At the age of four I was given a small trowel to help point the stone floor slabs of the newly built art school that my father ran in a Gandhian community in Central India. That and Meccano are partly responsible for my standing for RIBA President now.
Coming to the UK with my family in 1962, aged 12, I went to North London secondary schools. After studying architecture at the University of Cambridge and the Architectural Association in London I worked for 8 years with Edward Cullinan Architects and then conducted research in North Indian urbanism and domestic architecture for my Doctorate. In 1988 Greg Penoyre and I founded Penoyre & Prasad Architects which has become well-known for its work in health, education and public buildings, and won many awards. I have contributed to many books and journals and have taught widely in the UK and in India. I have kept building and now live in Hackney with my family in a self-built house.
In 2004 I was elected as an RIBA Councillor, Board Member and Vice President for Policy and Strategy.
I have been a commissioner for the UK Government’s Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment from its inception in 1999. I launched its enabling programme, chaired a number of research steering committees and some design reviews, was lead commissioner for the Corporate Strategy, contributed to many of its publications and campaigns and currently lead on the Skills Programme. Dealing with Government at all levels and campaigning through the media, I have been part of CABE’s success in raising the status of design.
To CABE I brought my earlier experience in the RIBA, as member of the Awards Group, the Practice Committee and in leading the response to the Egan Report - Rethinking Construction. My contribution to the development of the Design Quality Indicator has also been valuable in making design accessible to lay people.
If elected I will powerfully represent the RIBA and its diverse membership, drawing on my reputation as a practising architect and an influential voice for the profession in government, in industry forums, in the media, in academia and in the arts and culture arena.