February 27, 2019

Wait Just a Minute: Lesley Lokko

In our latest episode of Wait Just a Minute, architect and novelist Lesley Lokko explains urbanism, the importance of culture in cities, and how architecture contributes to a city's culture.

Wait Just a Minute: Lesley Lokko


What is urbanism?

So, I always think of architecture as the drawing forth of an idea from the brain to a piece of paper. You translate that from a piece of paper to a building, and then you make another translation from a building to a city. So, I think it's about scale. Urbanism is architecture at scale, if you like.

Why is culture important to cities?

Culture is cities and, I think, cities are culture. I think it's the lifeblood of almost anything. I think we don't spend enough time talking about what urban culture really is. We just assume it's something that everybody knows how to do, how to be.

How does architecture contribute to a city's culture?

You know, we like to think about architecture as representing the best of us. You know, if you think about a house, a house is somehow supposed to signal to the outside world, you know, what we're like. But actually, if two people are living inside a house and they have a fight, they don't want the house to represent that, you know? So, architecture in a sense represents what we're not, it represents the best of us, it represents our aspirations.

What are you reading?

I think unlike quite a lot of novelists, I read as I write. I'm reading everything by David Malouf, who's an Australian writer. I read a lot of Nadine Gordimer, who's a South African writer, Nobel Prize-winning writer. I read a lot, yeah.

About

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization. All statements of fact and expressions of opinion in blog posts are the sole responsibility of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council.

Archive




| By Michael H. Moskow

Michael H. Moskow on 'American Hero' Paul Volcker

Paul A. Volcker, chairman of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, died earlier this week. The Council's Michael H. Moskow shares his insights on why Volcker is an 'American hero' for his work in monetary policy and public service.





Wait Just a Minute: Elisabeth Braw on Cyber Warfare

Elisabeth Braw, director of the Royal United Services Institute’s Modern Deterrence Project, takes a minute to examine which countries are best at cybersecurity and whether a cyberattack is an act of war.


| By Sushant Singh, Paul Staniland, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Which Side Will India Take in US-China Rivalry?

A centerpiece of US strategy during the Trump administration has been the idea of the "Indo-Pacific," a massive single region stretching across both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. One of the goals in this strategy is to link up India with US allies in East Asia as a counterbalance to a rising China.



Wait Just a Minute: Kathryn Koob

Kathryn Koob, a former American Embassy employee held hostage in Iran, takes a minute to answer questions about Tehran in 1979, what helped her most during her 444 days of captivity, and her advice for future diplomats on the 40th anniversary of the US Embassy hostage crisis.



| By Rana Foroohar, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Hard Truths about Big Tech and the US Economy

Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple are massive companies, commanding so much of the market that they are now being called monopolies. Rana Foroohar explains how these data-fueled tech behemoths are disrupting the US economy and American politics.


Wait Just a Minute: Stephen A. Schwarzman on China

Blackstone founder and CEO Stephen Schwarzman takes a minute to answer questions about the current state of the US-China relationship and what Americans should understand about doing business in China.