Through the award, RIAS - the professional body for all chartered architects in Scotland - recognises the key role of design as a central function of the architect, and that maintaining the highest standards in the provision of architectural education is central to delivering quality in the built environment. The award was initiated by the late Ian Appleton.
Mark has over 30 years’ experience in the architectural profession with a career combining practice (working in Germany and the UK), academia (teaching in Scotland and Australia) and publishing (writing for a variety of magazines and journals). He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, having completed both an MA (Hons) and a Dip.Arch here, before going on to further studies at Glasgow School of Art.
This year’s judges were RIAS President, Christina Gaiger and Marjorie Appleton FRIAS.
“We were impressed with the teaching skills, knowledge and broad range of expertise demonstrated in the 2020 nominations. From BIM specialisms to international teaching initiatives the award nominations showed the strength of teaching provided at the Scottish schools,” said Christina, “The narratives by current and past students clearly presented the positive impact, influence and outstanding commitment from Mark Cousins over the duration of his career. We were very impressed by the quality of the submission from the Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture.”
The award was presented on 1 October 2020 as part of WITH THE GRAIN, the RIAS Convention 2020. The convention – held online this year – brought architects, built environment professionals and the wider public together online for discussion around how we can work with nature, natural materials and our climate to build resilient communities.
"There is a very collaborative inclusive side to Mark's teaching which I found very forward thinking (even now)," said Samantha Donnelly, a former student of Mark's at the University of Adelaide, now a Scholarly Teaching Fellow at the School of Architecture, University of Technology Sydney, "It was wonderful to have a teacher who sat beside students and sketched rather than talking all the time. I found that utterly inspiring - that skill helped me to be a good tutor."