Hugh Pearman elected as new C20 Chairman

The Twentieth Century Society (C20) has announced that Hugh Pearman has been appointed to take on the role of Chairman.

image: C20 website (Sarah M Lee)

… Pearman….was one of the instigators of The RIBA Stirling Prize…

C20 writes:

C20 trustees are delighted to announce that following election by Society members at the recent AGM, Hugh Pearman has been appointed to take on the role of Twentieth Century Society Chairman.

Pearman is a distinguished journalist, editor and author. He was architecture and design critic of The Sunday Times for 30 years (1986-2016), editor of the RIBA Journal for 14 years (2006-20), and has written extensively for other media. His latest book, ‘About Architecture: An Essential Guide in 55 Buildings’ was published by Yale University Press in May.

In addition, Pearman served on Arts Council England’s architecture advisory group, was one of the instigators of The RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture in 1996 and chaired the “Art for Architecture” initiative at the Royal Society of Arts from 2000-04. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2001 and was awarded an MBE for services to architecture in 2019.

Previous chair Ian McInnes stands down after helping to steer the Society through a period of considerable change. We’d like to thank him immensely for his service as chair and as a trustee over the past decade.


The appointment marks the first time the Society has conducted an external recruitment process to fill this key position. Pearman outlines his three main priorities in the role as fundraising, strengthening the board of trustees, and exploring ways to broaden membership.

A particular target for membership recruitment is large architecture and design practices, and the most responsible property developers – finding common ground with those working imaginatively yet sympathetically with buildings from our period.

Heritage of the Future

An increasing focus for the Society is proactively assessing the architecture and design of the late twentieth and early twenty first century, helping to define what the built-heritage of the future may be.

This builds on the Society’s forty five year legacy as a highly successful campaigning organisation, and as one of the National Amenity Societies – fulfilling a key role in the planning process as a statutory consultee for buildings from 1914 to the present day.

Pearman stated:

‘C20 should be seen as studiously neutral, not biased in its style choices – to an extent we have to work ahead of public taste, identifying the best of the recent past at the moment when it may be at its most unfashionable. The raft of Millennium projects will soon be coming up to their 30-year anniversaries [one of the main thresholds for consideration of national listing in England and Wales]. Moreover, what and where will be the first 21st century listed building?

You can read a Q&A between Director Catherine Croft and Hugh Pearman here

Read more….

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