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Architect Lesley Lokko: ‘There is a sense in Africa that it is our time’

The Ghanaian-Scottish architect is curator of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, and more than half of the participants will be African. The story of architecture we are used to, she says, is incomplete “Africa” says Lesley Lokko, stopping over in a London hotel on the way from Accra to Venice, “is the world’s youngest continent. It is the most rapidly urbanising and has the fewest architects.” It is therefore a place of instability and invention, minimally constrained by professional structures, where the “speed of change is likely to outstrip the ability to understand it”. Its countries, meanwhile, have on average the oldest political leaders, which makes for a gap between governance and the pace of events. These factors make Africa, for Lokko, a place where the future is taking shape, one of unpredictable creation and imagination, qualities that she plans to bring to the ancient city of Venice, that highly preserved embodiment of things past, just under two months from now. Lokko is curator of this year’s edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale, the world’s most significant and influential celebration of things architectural. Under the title The Laboratory of the Future, she intends to get “Africa talking to the world”. Continue reading...

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