Africa as Lab of the Future
Lesley Lokko is a co-founder of the Graduate School of Architecture in Johannesburg (2015) and the Africa Future Instituten in Accra (2021). She is a Ghanaian-Scottish architect who has worked and taught not only in Africa, but also in London and Edinburgh. She is also on the jury for the Golden Lions award for the 2021 Venice Biennale.
During a conference in Berlin Lesley Lokko presented a lecture on Africa as the Lab of the Future. She explains that Africa can fulfil this function because the average age of the African population is younger than in Europe and the USA. In Africa one can also experiment with curricula and organizational structures more so than what is possible in Europe. She also emphasizes the importance to embrace diversity and at the same time to acknowledge individual skills and habits. However, she points out that people do not know how to do this and that “civicness” should be taught. The education of an architect prepares one to think about the design of society, which can can be dangerous, but also offer opportunities to be productive and creative about how ideas about a civil society can be translated into physical spaces.
To hear more about her views on the role of Africa in architectural and social thinking and how cultural identity is central to architecture, watch this video posted by Architecture Daily