Basic Biographical Details

Name: Richard Thomas Bigwood
Born: c. 1927
Bio Notes: Richard Thomas Bigwood was born about 1927. He studied for the diploma in architecture at the Architectural Association and for a further qualification in planning (at SP?).

From 1952-61 he worked with the LCC in the Planning Division of the Architects Department. From February 1961 to October 1962 he worked with RMJM and led the planning team under Matthew in collaboration with Johnson-Marshall. Planning projects he was involved with during this period included the Belfast Regional survey and plan, Edinburgh University precinct, Salford Community and Shopping centre (£5m) the Administrative Centre for Islamabad and the national capital of West Pakistan.

From October 1962 he was Executive Director of the Planning Research Unit, Department of Urban Design and Regional Planning University of Edinburgh under Percy Johnson-Marshall and Sir Robert Matthew until 1967 when their involvement ceased. He was elected ARIAS in 1964 and FRIBA in 1969, proposed by Percy Johnson-Marshall, Robert Hogg Matthew and Walter Bor.

In 1968 the Planning Research Unit consisted of a multi-disciplinary team of highly trained and experienced full-time research fellows numbering from 5 to 20 during the previous six years. The Unit had prepared three major sub-regional plans: the first dating from 1966 was the Lothians Regional Survey covering 250,000 people and 133 square miles, embracing Livingston New Town and requiring an investment of £250m. This was commended by the Secretary of State and six Local Authorities. The second was the Central Borders survey, 1968, which was a plan for expansion involving a 15 year programme for 8 towns and their landward areas, 350 square miles with a proposed £50m of investment and an additional 25,000 people. This plan was commended by the Secretary of State. The third was the Grangemouth/Falkirk Regional Survey and Plan, 1968, which was a plan for urban growth involving 300,000 people and 100 square miles with £200m worth of investment. This too was commended by the Secretary of State and six local authorities.

In his Fellowship Nomination Paper Bigwood lists a range of projects in which he had participated. These are listed with publications below. He also gave lectures and seminars and criticisms of work by students of the post graduate course in Civic Design and Regional Planning, in the Department of Urban Design and Regional Planning. He acted as joint supervisor of one MArch student, four MSc students and two Phd students. He was extensively responsible for three current research programmes : Planning for the Disabled, sponsored by Living Activities Committee of the Central Council for the Disabled; The Threshold Theory sponsored by the Centre for Environment Studies and Semiotics of Public Open Space (funded by the Science Research Council).

In 1969 he was also working on a critical analysis of physical planning in the world, based on an award of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in 1967 which sponsored a 6-month tour of Iran, India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, nationalist China, Korea, Japan, Hawaii, the United States and Mexico.

Bigwood moved to Northern Ireland before 1974.

Planning reports:
‘Wealth not Want: a study in the World’s Resources’ APRR, 1952.
London Plan: 1st Review, 1960, County Planning Report volume 1.
Belfast Regional Survey and Plan, 1964
Lothian Regional Survey and Plan, 1966
Central Borders: a plan for extension, 1968
Grangemouth/Falkirk Regional survey and plan, 1968
Coleraine Regional Survey and plan, 1968

‘Habituation Planning: a new orientation’ Paper dekivered at an International symposium on changing concepts of human habitation, Roorkee, India, December 1966
‘Planning in Scotland’ Paper at International Planning Seminar, Dublin, April 1966

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 360, Netherby Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1964 *After 1984 
Item 2 of 330, Dudley Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1987 *  
Item 3 of 3Mourne Grange, Camphill Community, Newry Road, Kilkeel, Newry, Northern IrelandPrivate1994  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2Percy Johnson-Marshall & AssociatesEarly 1960s   
Item 2 of 2Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners (RMJM)Early 1960s  Member of planning team.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Walter George Bor16 July 1969For Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Percy Edwin Alan Johnson-Marshall16 July 1969For Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Robert Hogg Matthew16 July 1969For Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 11961Belfast Regional Plan  BelfastNorthern IrelandDeputy in charge of the Percy Johnson-Marshall team


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 5RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 2 of 5RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 3 of 5RIBA1984RIBA Directory of members   
Item 4 of 5RIBA1987RIBA Directory of Members 1987   
Item 5 of 5RIBA1994A Directory of RIBA Members   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F no6825 (Combined Box 162)