Guest Lecture Series: Lesley Lokko

Indian street scene with Cow looking at camera

Sacred Cows


Date: Thursday 4th March 2021, 18:00 GMT (online)

Click here to watch a recording of the talk

Generally speaking, institutions are built to withstand change, not encourage it.

Following last year’s global protests, this lecture and Q&A speculates on different approaches to architectural education that might encourage institutions to give up a few ‘sacred cows’ in favour of a more equitable, diverse and inclusive future.


LESLEY LOKKO trained as an architect at the Bartlett School of Architecture and holds a PhD in Architecture from the same institution. She recently resigned from her position as Dean of Architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY, and is now planning the African Futures Institute, an independent postgraduate school of architecture in Accra, Ghana. In 2021, she will hold visiting professorships at The Cooper Union, University of Virginia and Yale University. She was the founder and director of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg from 2014 — 2019. She is the editor of White Papers, Black Marks: Race, Culture, Architecture (University of Minnesota Press, 2000); editor-in-chief of FOLIO: Journal of Contemporary African Architecture. She is also a series editor of the Design Research in Architecture (UCL Press), together with founders Jonathan Hill and Murray Fraser. In 2004, she made the successful transition from academic to novelist with the publication of her first novel, Sundowners (Orion 2004), a UK-Guardian top forty best-seller, and has since then followed with eleven further best-sellers, which have been translated into fifteen languages. She has lectured and published widely on the subject of race, identity and architecture, and has served on many international juries and awards over the past decade, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Archiprix, the RIBA President’s Medals, Archmarathon and the Venice Biennale. She is the recipient of the 2020 RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education

Image courtesy of Lesley Lokko