The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett Alumna Lesley Lokko Appointed Curator of the Biennale Architettura 2023

15 December 2021

Lesley Lokko, Bartlett graduate and Visiting Professor will curate the 18th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale.

Image: Lesley Lokko by Murdo Mcleod

Lesley Lokko was appointed as Director of the world-leading architecture exhibition this week, by the board of the Venice Biennale, presided over by Roberto Cicutto. The exhibition will run from Saturday 20 May to Sunday 26 November 2023 and will be the 18th of its kind. 

Lesley is an architectural academic, educator and best-selling novelist. She is the founder and director of the African Futures Institute, established in Accra, Ghana, in 2020 as a postgraduate school of architecture and public events platform. In 2015 she founded the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Johannesburg.

Lesley completed Architecture BSc, Architecture MArch and a PhD in Architectural Design at The Bartlett School of Architecture, and has most recently been working with staff and students as a Visiting Professor. Speaking about her role as curator, Lesley stated: 

After two of the most difficult and divisive years in living memory, architects have a unique opportunity to show the world what we do best: put forward ambitious and creative ideas that help us imagine a more equitable and optimistic future in common.”

Reflecting on the appointment, Roberto Cicutto, President of the Venice Biennale, said: 

The appointment of Lesley Lokko as curator of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition is a way of welcoming the gaze of an international personality who is able to interpret, through different roles, her own position in the contemporary debate on architecture and cities.”

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Image: Lesley Lokko by Murdo Macleod