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.

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Archive




Urban Reflections from the 2019 International Student Delegation

Each year approximately 30 students from leading research universities around the world participate in the global student delegation program at the Pritzker Forum on Global Cities. Promising students who have demonstrated a commitment to improving global cities and are enrolled in a master’s or PhD program are nominated by their host universities to attend. The 2019 delegation included 30 students from 20 countries, including China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Their biographies are available here.

The following series of contributions are their reflections and insights inspired by and drawn from their experience attending the 2019 Pritzker Forum.


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