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

One More Question with Moshe Ya'alon

Former Defense Minister of Israel Moshe Ya’alon visited the Council on December 7, 2016. We asked him: What is your priority for US-Israel relations under the next administration? See what he said.


| By Karl Friedhoff

South Korea: Stepping Toward the Wilderness?

With the South Korean president impeached, the potential ascent of the opposition party could portend serious consequences both for US foreign policy in Northeast Asia and for Korea’s relations with the United States and Japan. 


| By Brian Hanson, Craig Kafura

Deep Dish: Bullish on Trump in the China Shop

Anything that surprises people about President-elect Trump shouldn’t surprise them too much, says Chinese entrepreneur and 2016 Scholl Fellow Victor Yuan. In the latest Deep Dish podcast, Yuan talks with Council experts about the potential points of conflict and consensus between the next US administration and China.

 


| By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week's Reads - Consecutive Political Earthquakes

Earlier this week, we witnessed the third “Brexit” moment of 2016 with the failure of Matteo Renzi's constitutional reforms in Italy. This Week's Reads focus on the breakdown of the post-World War II liberal order and the emergence of a new global disorder. 



What to Watch in US-China Relations

US-China relations have been remarkably stable for the past four decades, but two recent “firsts” – Trump's Taiwan call and Xi's upcoming visit to Davos – have the potential to shake things up, writes Jon Macha.



One More Question with Laura Alonso

Argentina's Anti-Corruption Officer, Laura Alonso, came to the Council September 22. We asked her what one question she wished she was asked that day. See what she said.


| By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week's Reads - Dealing with Russia

Are we headed toward a new détente with Russia? This Week's Reads focus on the challenges posed by Putin’s Russia and show the global political landscape in which these challenges must be dealt.



One More Question with Professors Gordon and Mokyr

Renowned Northwestern Economists Robert Gordon and Joel Mokyr debated the future of the economy at the Council on October 31. We asked them: What is the one question you wish someone would have asked you today?


| By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week's Reads – Election Aftermath

This Week’s Reads show how Mr. Trump’s election has already affected the global political landscape, and provide some perspective on what we can expect from American foreign policy in a Trump administration.