RIBA Photo Festival 2023 explores photography and the built environment

The RIBA Photo Festival 2023 runs 8 – 11 November, exploring photography and its powerful relationship with architecture

view of skyscrapers at RIBA Photo festival 2023
(Image credit: Michele Nastasi)

The inaugural RIBA Photo Festival 2023 launches in London this week, exploring the relationship between photography and the built environment. Capturing architecture through the photographic lens has been an art as old as the medium itself, yet this is possibly the world's only festival dedicated entirely to this genre, says Valeria Carullo, RIBA's The Robert Elwall Photographs Collection curator, who organises the event. 

RIBA Photo festival 2023

(Image credit: Martine Hamilton Knight)

RIBA Photo Festival 2023: what's on offer

There's something for everyone during the festival's four days of celebration at the RIBA headquarters at Portland Place. The programme was curated to speak to a specialised, existing audience of architectural photography and architecture enthusiasts, but also to the wider public with an interest in the arts. 

artistic black and white detail of building at RIBA Photo festival 2023

(Image credit: Helene Binet)

Offerings range from photographic displays, to evening lectures from international speakers, workshops and tutorials led by seasoned professionals in the field. There will also be curator tours of the 'Wide-Angle View' exhibition currently on show at the RIBA HQ, one of our top pics of London architecture exhibitions this month. 

black and white image of building at RIBA Photo festival 2023

(Image credit: Ian Beesley)

'Wide-Angle View' was also curated by Carullo, who said at the opening: 'This exhibition, with the raw power of its photographs, brings us back to a time of challenges, disparities, disillusionment, but also a time of questioning, protesting, campaigning – in many ways, much like our here and now. It is a timely reminder of the importance of citizens’ participation in the decisions that affect their communities and the role architects can play in creating a fairer society.'

large building detail at RIBA Photo festival 2023

(Image credit: Nikola Olic)

The debate and exhibits also aim to discuss photography's role in the digital age and how this affects its depicting and exploring of architecture and the built environment.

RIBA Photo festival 2023 image

(Image credit: Nipun Prabhakar)


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).