What is the Festival of Architecture?

Led by The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), the Festival of Architecture 2016 is central to Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

The Festival is a nationwide celebration of how architecture and design shapes Scotland, transforming its places and benefitting its people and their lives. It will reach out to a wide audience, nationally and internationally, inspire and engage young and old, with a diverse programme of activities, leaving a legacy of tools and resources to help individuals and communities shape their future.

How does this Festival sit within the Scottish Government’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design?

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 is a Scottish Government initiative led by VisitScotland to celebrate and promote Scotland's achievements in innovation, architecture and design to its people and visitors.

The creative industries contribute £3 billion to the Scottish economy each year, supporting 68,800 jobs, with architecture in particular seeing visitors to Scotland spend around £200 million each year visiting architecture and our built heritage.

The Festival of Architecture will build on this interest to showcase our distinctive contribution to architecture in the most diverse, fun and engaging way.

Why is The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland organising this Festival?

As the professional body for all chartered architects in Scotland, the RIAS is part of an industry which makes a major contribution to both the economy and to the quality of our built environment. It’s the RIAS’s Centenary this year, and we felt that was a good reason to come together with friends to create a celebration of the artform that has the greatest impact on people’s daily lives.

What makes this Festival different?

The Festival of Architecture is a one-off event. As far as we know it is the only one of its kind ever attempted. Uniquely, it will run throughout a whole nation with a year-long programme focused on architecture and the built environment.

The Festival is also made special through the strong partnership of over one hundred leading arts, heritage and architectural organisations, and hundreds of volunteers, to deliver an engaging programme of events and publications covering all aspects of our built environment.

Will this be an annual event?

The Festival of Architecture is a one-off. More than one hundred partner organisations and many hundreds of volunteers are giving their time, energy and enthusiasm to make it truly special. Many of the initiatives during the year will have a legacy for years to come.

However, this type of event works best because it doesn’t happen every year. If there is public demand for further architecture years in future we will certainly listen – so who knows, there may be a further Festival in a few years’ time!

Can I get involved?

Attend an event

We would love to see you at the Festival. Check out our events page to see what’s on in your area or browse by date. Don’t forget to give us a shout out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you have been to any festival events, using @foa2016 #foa2016

Partner with us

The Festival of Architecture 2016 is already big. We’d like it to become even bigger, so if you are interested in becoming a Festival partner and would like more information on how to go about this please email info@foa2016.com. Take a look at our existing partners and see what they are doing as part of the Festival.


Many of our Festival events will rely on the invaluable support of volunteers. If you are interested in helping out, please get in touch at info@foa2016.com.

Can I sponsor the Festival?

Absolutely! The Festival can offer sponsors a wide range of benefits and unique opportunities to engage with the general public, professionals, the construction industry and international visitors. Please get in touch with Veronica Low, Commercial Manager, at veronica@foa2016.com to discuss sponsorship packages.

Who can I speak to about press enquiries?

For all media enquires please contact Jude Henderson, PR Manager, at jude@foa2016.com.

How do I book tickets to events?

Most of our Festival events are free to enjoy. If tickets are required, please click the ‘book tickets’ button on the event page or get in touch with the event organisers directly for booking enquiries.

Are the venues accessible?

We have included access information in the location section of our event pages. If you would like further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the venues directly for details.

What happens after the Festival?

Our ambition is to work with our partners across a number of built environment organisations, with our museums and galleries and lots of other agencies whose mission is to show the best of what Scotland can offer. Together we aim to transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment towards a whole new level of appreciation and understanding. We’ll encourage people to enjoy architecture and have fun, leaving a legacy of resources to help individuals and communities shape their future.

Please view our Legacy page for further details.

Any other questions?

We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us at info@foa2016.com or call +44 (0) 131 229 7545.

The Festival of Architecture is a key part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland.