John has worked in the built environment sector in Scotland for over 20 years. He was Director of Communications and Depute-Secretary at the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (1993-2006) before establishing a specialist architectural communications consultancy, John Pelan Associates, in 2006.
He was involved in the relaunches of Prospect magazine in 1994 and 1999, acting as editor for a number of years. He led on the delivery of the UK’s largest architectural conference, the RIAS Convention, from 1998 to 2005. Other achievements include establishing, with Andrew Doolan, the RIAS Andrew Doolan Award for Architecture in 2002 and curating a number of exhibitions including ‘Ugly Buildings?” in 1998 and ’10/10, the best buildings in Scotland 1995-2006”.
As director of John Pelan Associates, he worked with a range of clients in the architecture sector helping with branding and communications including Holmes Miller, Austin-Smith: Lord and ADF Architects.
Currently, John is Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, the national body for the civic movement in Scotland which delivers a wide range of programmes and activities including Doors Open Days, the My Place Awards and the Civic Pride Campaign. From 2012 to 2015 he was also Director of the Built Environment Forum Scotland (on part-time secondment) working with Scottish Government and a wide range of heritage and built environment organisations to inform policy decisions.
He is keen on helping lay people learn about and engage with the built environment and has a particular interest in community engagement in the planning process. John is a Fellow of the RSA.