Lesley Lokko

Oct. 26, 2020

Lesley smiling while holding a teacup

Lesley Lokko (Photo by Debra Hurford-Brown)

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All lectures start at 4 p.m. Central Time and will be presented virtually. To register for this lecture and the entire lecture series, complete this registration form on Zoom. You will be sent a confirmation email upon registration.

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Lesley Lokko is an architect, academic and the author of 11 bestselling novels. She recently stepped down as the dean at The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York, effective at the end of January 2021. 

Lokko 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; and is on the editorial board of ARQ (Cambridge University Press).

Lokko will present a virtual lecture at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, as part of the fall lecture series in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

The Fay Jones School’s fall lecture series focuses on issues of equity and justice in the built environment. The series is presented in collaboration with Places Journal, an internationally respected online journal of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism, and the University of Arkansas Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The series is also made possible in part by a gift from Ken and Liz Allen of Fayetteville, part of an overall set of commitments the Allens have made to the school’s programs and initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion.

In her lecture, “Look Back in Anger,” Lokko will discuss how the world is reeling in 2020. From environmental catastrophes to bitter political dog fights, the war on terror has morphed into a war on health – and there's no end in sight. Collectively, people seem to be the angriest they've ever been and certainly the most vocal.

At one level, a school is a collection of learning spaces and environments. But it is also the place where people learn how to distinguish between their private and public selves, where they practice what it means to be civic and civil. So what will this year teach us? When the curtain comes down on this double-digit year, what will we have learned about ourselves and the capacity of our institutions, like schools, to make sense of what has happened and prepare us for what may come next?

Look Back in Anger is the title of a 1956 play by the British writer John Osbourne, whose real genius lay in the way it liberated theatrical language from its conventions, allowing a new and more accurate interpretation of events to flourish. When we, as architects and educators, look back at 2020, what new languages of place, space, program and form will we have helped emerge during this time? 

Before arriving at The City College of New York, Lokko served as the Head of School at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

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 40 bestseller, and has since then followed with 10 further bestsellers, which have been translated into 15 languages.

The school is pursuing continuing education credits for this lecture through the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects.

This virtual lecture is open to the public. To register for this lecture and the entire lecture series, complete this registration form in Zoom. You will be sent a confirmation email upon registration.