“Visionary of change” Lesley Lokko wins 2024 RIBA Royal Gold Medal

Ghanaian-Scottish architect and educator Lesley Lokko has been announced as the winner of 2024 Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). As an academician, writer and curator, Professor Lokko has dedicated her career to voicing the underrepresented, who have been neglected for far too long.

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“Visionary of change” Lesley Lokko wins 2024 RIBA Royal Gold Medal 1

“I’m delighted to be considered alongside some of the great past winners of the Royal Gold Medal. Although this is a personal award, this isn’t merely a personal triumph, this is a testament to the people and organizations I have worked with that share my goals,” Lokko reflected.

She is the founder of the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg and the Architectural Futures Institute (AFI) in Accra, Ghana, which envisions Africa as the forge of the future. She is also the author of the essay collection ‘White Papers Black Marks’, along with 13 novels including Sundowners. Her latest contribution was as a curator of the 18th International Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2023, as the first person of African descent. A six-part exhibition under the theme ‘The Laboratory of the Future’, focused on Africa and its diaspora by exploring the challenges of decarbonization and decolonization. Professor Lokko’s work has been acknowledged by the 2024 RIBA Honors Committee as a ‘clarion call for equitable representation in policies, planning, and design that shape our spaces’.

“A fierce champion of equity and inclusion in all aspects of life, Lesley Lokko’s progressive approach to architecture education offers hope for the future… A visionary agent of change, she has dedicated her life to championing these values, not only through academic endeavors but through her work as an author and curator,” said RIBA president Muyiwa Oki.

Source: “Lesley Lokko to receive Royal Gold Medal 2024 for architecture”. Royal Institute of British Architects, 18 January 2024, architecture.com/awards-and-competition /awards/royal-gold-medal. Accessed 20 January 2024.

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