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Professor Lesley Lokko wins 2020 RIBA Annie Spink Award

United Kingdom Architecture News - Jan 06, 2021 - 09:45   5570 views

Professor Lesley Lokko wins 2020 RIBA Annie Spink Award

Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic, and novelist Professor Lesley Lokko has been named as the recipient of the 2020 RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

RIBA's prestigious biennial prize is "awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of architectural education, in a school of architecture anywhere in the world that offers courses validated by the RIBA."

Lokko is currently Dean of Architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture, New York, and starting from January 2021 she will begin building the African Futures Institute, an independent postgraduate school of architecture in Accra, Ghana.

"I am deeply humbled by the jury’s decision. This award is for everyone who came out in support of the Black Lives Matter protests, which put such difficult and challenging questions on the table for us all," said Professor Lesley Lokko.

"It is also dedicated to the teachers and students at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, whose tenacity and inventiveness have charted a new path for architectural education." 

"Together with the profound intellectual generosity I experienced as a student at the Bartlett School of Architecture in the 1990s, they remain crucial touchstones in my teaching practice, now and in whatever comes next," she added.

Lokko is known in terms of her strong voice and the courses to which she has contributed, most notably between 2014 and 2019. She founded the Graduate School of Architecture (GSA) at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015, a 100-student program is directed by Lokko's leadership. 

She has a quarter-century of academic experience academic experience teaching in schools across the U.K., United States, and South Africa, including Iowa State University, University of Illinois, Kingston University, University of Westminster and University of North London.

Lesley Lokko was appointed as dean of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture (SSA) at The City College of New York (CCNY) in June, 2019 but she left her role in 10 months due to "crippling workload and a lack of empathy for black women" in October. 

"Congratulations to Professor Lesley Lokko, the deserving winner of our 2020 Annie Spink Award. Lesley’s impressive career in architectural education has spanned decades, and she has established herself as an internationally renowned educator," said RIBA President Professor Alan Jones. 

"Lesley has demonstrated impactful leadership, passion and an unwavering commitment to architectural education and research, and lectured and published widely on the subjects of race, identity and architecture."

"I am delighted to present Professor Lesley Lokko with this accolade."

Lokko is the 11th recipient of the RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education. Previous winners include Peter Cook and David Greene (joint award), Peter Salter and Wolf Prix (shared award), Elia Zenghelis, Nigel Coates, Florian Beigel, Murray Fraser. 

Top image: Lesley Lokko © Debra Hurford-Brown

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