1. ArchDaily
  2. Lesley Lokko

Lesley Lokko: The Latest Architecture and News

How the Black Females in Architecture Network is Changing Industry Standards

In early 2018, spatial practitioner and Bartlett lecturer Neba Sere hosted a panel discussion at London's Architecture Foundation, where she was one of six young trustees. The topic: beginnings. How to go about them, move ahead, and transform them into something that lasts. Six years later, she looks back on the event as a beginning in itself: that day marked the creation of a WhatsApp group that would turn into Black Females in Architecture (BFA). BFA is now a 500-strong global membership network co-directed by Sere and fellow architects Selasi Setufe and Akua Danso.

BFA was initiated in response to the need for visibility of black women and female-identifying people with black heritage in architecture and the built environment. Last year, the group celebrated its fifth anniversary with the showing of a short film and a panel discussion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Now, after putting in the groundwork of spreading information about the lack of diversity and equality in the industry and increasing their numbers, BFA is gearing up to drive physical change.

How the Black Females in Architecture Network is Changing Industry Standards - Image 1 of 4How the Black Females in Architecture Network is Changing Industry Standards - Image 2 of 4How the Black Females in Architecture Network is Changing Industry Standards - Image 3 of 4How the Black Females in Architecture Network is Changing Industry Standards - Image 4 of 4How the Black Females in Architecture Network is Changing Industry Standards - More Images+ 4

Watch the Holcim Awards 2023 Panel Discussion with Jurors Lesley Lokko, Belinda Tato, Craig Dykers, Manit Rastogi, and Tatiana Bilbao

Moderated by David Basulto, Co-Founder and editor-in-chief at ArchDaily, the panel featured Jury Chairs for the Holcim Awards 2023 competition, Lesley Lokko, Belinda Tato, Craig Dykers, Manit Rastogi, and Tatiana Bilbao, who explained how the winning projects contributed to the industry's global knowledge network across regions, and how the construction industry is heading towards a sustainable practice.

The Panel Discussion took place on November 19th, 2023 at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, in Venice, Italy.

A Look Back at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, the First to be Focused on the Culture of Africa

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia closed on November 26th. A total of 285,000 people visited the exhibition, making it the second most highly attended Architecture Biennale in its history. Named "The Laboratory of the Future," this edition led by curator Lesley Lokko, has been the first to focus on Africa and its diaspora, exploring the “fluid and enmeshed culture of people of African descent that now straddles the globe,” in the words of the curator, with themes of decolonization and decarbonization.

This edition has attracted a wide array of visitors, 38% of whom are represented by students and young people. Visitors organized in groups represented 23% of the overall public, with a large majority of groups coming from schools and universities. The numbers denote an event centered on the transmission of knowledge and circulation of ideas.

A Look Back at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, the First to be Focused on the Culture of Africa - Image 1 of 4A Look Back at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, the First to be Focused on the Culture of Africa - Image 2 of 4A Look Back at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, the First to be Focused on the Culture of Africa - Image 3 of 4A Look Back at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, the First to be Focused on the Culture of Africa - Image 4 of 4A Look Back at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, the First to be Focused on the Culture of Africa - More Images+ 3

On-Site in Venice: 12 Interviews with Curators Discussing the Impact of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

While exploring the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, the ArchDaily team had a chance to engage in conversation with several curators of the national pavilions, along with Lesley Lokko, the curator of the entire exhibition. The discussions delved into the unique character of this year’s edition focused on an understanding of Africa as a “Laboratory of the Future.” Through this lens, the biennale became “a healing experience,” in the words of Lesley Lokko, reinterpreting and deconstructing the meaning behind ideas such as decolonization, decarbonization, resource management, or finding the hidden potential in vernacular forms of practice.

Following Lokko’s curatorial direction, the exhibitions presented at the national pavilions explored the specific conditions of their territories, striving to uncover and highlight the unique challenges and opportunities faced by their local cultural landscapes. During the interviews, the curators opened up in regard to their personal inspirations and the drive behind the choice of program, the messages embedded in the displays, and their hopes for the future of the profession.

On-Site in Venice: 12 Interviews with Curators Discussing the Impact of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 1 of 4On-Site in Venice: 12 Interviews with Curators Discussing the Impact of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 2 of 4On-Site in Venice: 12 Interviews with Curators Discussing the Impact of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 3 of 4On-Site in Venice: 12 Interviews with Curators Discussing the Impact of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 4 of 4On-Site in Venice: 12 Interviews with Curators Discussing the Impact of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - More Images+ 10

Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 Announces Opening Program and Site-Specific Commissions

Prior to the opening of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 on November 11, 2023, the organizers have revealed details of several new commissions and site-specific interventions that will explore and expand on the overarching themes of this year’s edition, The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability. The three-day opening program has also been announced, featuring talks, tours, screenings, workshops, and performances. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, the event set out to explore the innovations born out of conditions of scarcity in the Global South and ways in which cultures collaborate, adapt, re-use, and re-appropriate resources to move towards a more resilient and equitable future. Architects, designers, and studios have been invited to contribute with installations and projects to be displayed across the city and the surrounding desert.

Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 Announces Opening Program and Site-Specific Commissions - Image 1 of 4Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 Announces Opening Program and Site-Specific Commissions - Image 2 of 4Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 Announces Opening Program and Site-Specific Commissions - Image 3 of 4Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 Announces Opening Program and Site-Specific Commissions - Image 4 of 4Sharjah Architecture Triennial 2023 Announces Opening Program and Site-Specific Commissions - More Images+ 2

Aga Khan Award for Architecture Announces 2023-2025 Cycle Steering Committee Members

Last night, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture announced the constitution of its new Steering Committee for the 2023-2025 cycle. Composed of 5 primary jurors, this selection plays a pivotal role in the governance of the world-renowned award. Initially established in 1988, the award is internationally recognized as a leading award celebrating architecture projects that set a new standard of excellence in various practices, including architecture, planning practices, historic preservation, and landscape architecture. The award is also most known for its emphasis on applauding projects that use local resources and respect the contextual surroundings.

Chaired by His Highness Aga Khan, the Steering Committee for the 2023-2025 cycle comprised members from very diverse backgrounds. These members include Meisa Batayneh from Amman, Jordan; Souleymane Bachir Diagne from New York, USA; Lesley Lokko from Accra, Ghana; Gülru Necipoğlu from Cambridge, USA; Hashim Sarkis, also from Cambridge, USA; and Sarah M. Whiting, also affiliated with Harvard University in Cambridge, USA. Each individual is well-established in their respective practice, and together, they steer the Award, establishing eligibility criteria for different project submissions. The Committee provides thematic direction for the Award and plans for the institution's future. Finally, their most critical task involves selecting an independent Master Jury, which subsequently chooses award recipients.

"Liminality" by Neri&Hu Explores the Zone Between Theory and Practice at La Biennale di Venezia 2023

Neri&Hu presented “Liminality”, a multimedia exhibition selected by Lesley Lokko, at the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. The exhibition took place in the Dangerous Liaisons section of La Biennale di Venezia at the Arsenale. In response to Lokko’s curatorial statement, Neri&Hu’s display explored the concept of liminality, the “zone” between design practice and theoretical exploration. The display consisted of three adaptive reuse projects that represent the practice’s research in “Reflective Nostalgia, Recasting Vernacular, and Ruinophilia/Future Artifact.”

"Liminality" by Neri&Hu Explores the Zone Between Theory and Practice at La Biennale di Venezia 2023 - Image 7 of 4"Liminality" by Neri&Hu Explores the Zone Between Theory and Practice at La Biennale di Venezia 2023 - Image 12 of 4"Liminality" by Neri&Hu Explores the Zone Between Theory and Practice at La Biennale di Venezia 2023 - Image 2 of 4"Liminality" by Neri&Hu Explores the Zone Between Theory and Practice at La Biennale di Venezia 2023 - Image 5 of 4Liminality by Neri&Hu Explores the Zone Between Theory and Practice at La Biennale di Venezia 2023 - More Images+ 8

What Is an Architectural Curator?

In his book “Curation: The Power of Selection in a World of Excess,” Michael Bhaskar defines curation as “using acts of selection and arrangement (but also refining, reducing, displaying, simplifying, presenting, and explaining) to add value.” Originating from the Latin word curare, meaning to take care of, the curator’s role in dissecting our understanding of the world around us cannot be overlooked. Over time, as the definition morphs into different bodies, the practice of curation continues to evolve, filling the roles of caretakers of our built environment and thinkers of different forms for the overall bettering of society.

What Is an Architectural Curator? - Image 3 of 4What Is an Architectural Curator? - Image 1 of 4What Is an Architectural Curator? - Image 2 of 4What Is an Architectural Curator? - Image 4 of 4What Is an Architectural Curator? - More Images+ 6

The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale as a Healing Experience: In Conversation with Curator Lesley Lokko

Onsite, in Venice at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, ArchDaily had the chance to meet with the curator Lesley Lokko to discuss the first impressions and the main themes of this edition of the Biennale, following up on the previous interview recorded before the opening of the event. Featuring 63 National Pavilions, 89 Participants, and 9 collateral events in the city, the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale represents one of the most important international events for the architectural profession. The conversation addressed Lesley Lokko’s approach to curating the theme and focus of the event, understanding Africa as “The Laboratory of the Future,” the desire to bring both authenticity and empathy to the architectural discourse, while creating a space for voices not typically heard in global exhibitions.

The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale as a Healing Experience: In Conversation with Curator Lesley Lokko - Image 1 of 4The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale as a Healing Experience: In Conversation with Curator Lesley Lokko - Image 2 of 4The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale as a Healing Experience: In Conversation with Curator Lesley Lokko - Featured ImageThe 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale as a Healing Experience: In Conversation with Curator Lesley Lokko - Image 3 of 4The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale as a Healing Experience: In Conversation with Curator Lesley Lokko - More Images+ 4

David Adjaye Unveils the Design for India’s Largest Art and Culture Center during the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) has revealed an architectural model of its new building during the 18th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, as part of the Curator’s Special Projects, titled Mnemonic, presented at the Arsenale - Artiglierie in Venice. The building, designed by Ghanian-British architect Sir David Adjaye in collaboration with S. Ghosh & Associates as the local architect of record, is set to become India’s largest cultural center. The project is scheduled to open in Delhi in 2026.

David Adjaye Unveils the Design for India’s Largest Art and Culture Center during the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 1 of 4David Adjaye Unveils the Design for India’s Largest Art and Culture Center during the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 2 of 4David Adjaye Unveils the Design for India’s Largest Art and Culture Center during the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 3 of 4David Adjaye Unveils the Design for India’s Largest Art and Culture Center during the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 4 of 4David Adjaye Unveils the Design for India’s Largest Art and Culture Center during the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - More Images+ 3

Brazil Wins the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

The Brazilian Pavilion titled Terra [Earth], curated by Gabriela de Matos and Paulo Tavares won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale. Selected by a jury comprising Italian architect and curator Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli as president, Nora Akawi, Thelma Golden, Tau Tavengwa, and Izabela Wieczorek, the winning intervention at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale "proposes to rethink the past in order to design possible futures, bringing to the fore actors forgotten by the architectural canons, in dialogue with the curatorship of the edition, Laboratory of the Future".

Broadcasted live on the Biennale’s official page, the ceremony taking place at Ca’Giustinian, the headquarters of La Biennale di Venezia, also awarded the Golden Lion for Best Participant in the International Exhibition The Laboratory of the Future", to DAAR (Alessandro Petti + Sandi Hilal), while the Silver Lion for a promising young participant in the International Exhibition The Laboratory of the Future went to Olalekan Jeyifous. Other recognitions included a special mention to Thandi Loewenson, to Wolff Architects, Ilze Wolff, and Heinrich Wolff, to Twenty Nine Studio / Sammy Baloji, and to the national pavilion of Great Britain, titled "Dancing Before the Moon" curated by Jayden Ali, Joseph Henry, Meneesha Kellay, and Sumitra Upham.

Brazil Wins the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 1 of 4Brazil Wins the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 2 of 4Brazil Wins the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 3 of 4Brazil Wins the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - Image 4 of 4Brazil Wins the Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale - More Images+ 5

The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale Opens to the Public on May 20th

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, titled The Laboratory of the Future, will hold its official inauguration on Saturday, May 20th, and will remain open to the public until November 26th, 2023. The pre-opening events happening on May 18th and 19th include the awards ceremony, during which an international jury led by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli as president will award the official prizes: Golden Lion for best National Participation, Golden Lion for best participant, and Silver Lion for a promising young participant in the biennale. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement will be awarded to Demas Nwoko, Nigerian-born artist, designer, and architect, during the inauguration ceremony on May 20th.

The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale Opens to the Public on May 20th - Image 1 of 4The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale Opens to the Public on May 20th - Image 2 of 4The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale Opens to the Public on May 20th - Image 3 of 4The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale Opens to the Public on May 20th - Image 4 of 4The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale Opens to the Public on May 20th - More Images+ 7

International Jury of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 Announced with Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli Appointed as President

Deliberated by the Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia and upon recommendation by Curator Lesley Lokko, the International Jury of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, which will open on the 20th of May 2023, and will run until the 26th of November, 2023, has been selected. The 2023 jury will include Italian architect and curator Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli as president, Palestinian architect and curator, Nora Akawi, American director and curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, Thelma Golden, South-African founder and co-editor of Cityscapes Magazine, Tau Tavengwa; and Polish Izabela Wieczorek, architect in Spain and a researcher and educator based in London.

The International Jury will award the "Golden Lion for Best National Participation", the "Golden Lion for the best participant in the International Exhibition The Laboratory of the Future", as well as the "Silver Lion for a promising young participant in the International Exhibition The Laboratory of the Future". The Jury may also award a maximum of one special mention to a National Participation, and a maximum of two special mentions to the participants in the International Exhibition The Laboratory of the Future. The announcements and awards ceremony will take place in Venice on Saturday, May 20th, 2023.

“When Is Enough, Enough?”: The Singapore Pavilion Explores Connection, Freedom, and Inclusion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale

For this year’s 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the Singapore Pavilion activates discussion on new methods of measuring and evaluating the intangible and asks explicitly: how much is enough? The exhibition explores a community’s interaction with its surroundings, suggesting that they are not currently measured within the same measurable, quantifiable and gradable standards that buildings and the built environment are designed and built to. Moreover, the pavilion suggests that connecting these two pillars of city architecture, it is essential to rethink innovation in design. The exhibition asks how architects can quantify the immeasurable values of architecture: agency, attachment, attraction, connection, freedom, and inclusion.