22.01.2024 Valentina Grossmann

Lesley Lokko Receives Royal Gold Medal 2024 for Architecture

Lesley Lokko, © Murdo Macleod

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is honouring the Ghanaian-Scottish architect Lesley Lokko with the United Kingdom's most important architecture award. On 2 May 2024, she will be presented with the Royal Gold Medal in London in the name of His Majesty the King.

Inclusivity and equity in architecture

The medal honours Lokko's longstanding commitment to promoting diverse approaches in architectural practice and education. Her work focuses on amplifying underrepresented voices and exploring the complex relationship between architecture, identity and race, which has profound implications for architectural education, dialogue and discourse. In 2021, Lokko founded the African Futures Institute (AFI) in Accra, Ghana – an architectural education centre, that "reimagines Africa as a crucible of the future". The institution honours the work of women from the African diaspora.

Advanced teaching methods in architecture

“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 profession that welcomes those from all walks of life, considers the needs of our environment, and acknowledges a broad range of cultures and perspectives“, RIBA President, Muyiwa Oki said. “A visionary agent of change, Lesley has dedicated her life to championing these values, not only through academic endeavors, but through her work as an author and curator. She remains a humble revolutionary force, with her ambition and optimism etching an indelible mark on the global architectural stage.”   

Lesley Lokko is the first woman with African roots to receive this honour. So far, only a few of her female architectural colleagues have received the prestigious medal since the Royal British Institute of Architects was founded in 1848: Zaha Hadid, Yasmeen Lari and Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara from Grafton Architects. This year's award committee includes RIBA President Muyiwa Oki, last year's winner Yasmeen Lari, Neal Shasore from the London School of Architecture, architect Ivan Harbour and architect Cindy Walters.

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