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Talks and lectures

Making Plans with Lesley Lokko and Charles Holland

RIBA and The Modern House invites you to join architect Charles Holland and Professor Lesley Lokko in conversation about the intersecting relationship between the architectural plan of the home and issues of gender and race.

  • today 26 November 2020, 6pm to 7pm GMT
  • place Online
  • call talks@riba.org
  • receipt £6 Standard, £4 RIBA Member/Student/Friend

Join us for this new three part season of talks exploring the ways in which domestic architectural plans give form to underlying power relations, with architect Charles Holland and in partnership with The Modern House.

For this second talk, Charles Holland is joined by Professor Lesley Lokko to look at the relationship of the domestic plan to issues of power, gender, race and social relations.

“Ordinary things contain the deepest mysteries,” wrote Robin Evans in Figures, Doors and Passages, an essay describing the evolution of the domestic plan. The plan is the basic currency of architectural drawings, its ground zero. Plans describe buildings. They are technical documents that describe how a building is organised, but they follow aesthetic and compositional criteria too.

Plans can be beautiful when viewed as abstract compositions, but they also describe real physical and social relationships. Within them, the underlying structures of social organisation can be read: issues of culture, economics, gender, class and power. Plans are both a representation of specific cultural and political ideals and the means through which those ideals are constructed in real life.

This short series of talks will explore the plan and its relationship to these issues. Each week, we will ask an architect to select a plan and explain its importance to them, to architectural culture and to the series’ themes.

About the speakers

Lesley Lokko trained as an architect at the Bartlett School of Architecture and holds a PhD in Architecture from the same institution. She is currently Dean of Architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY, and was the founder and former director of the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. From January 2021, she will step down as Dean of Spitzer and begin building the African Futures Institute, an independent postgraduate school of architecture in Accra, Ghana. She has lectured and published widely on the subject of race, identity and architecture, and has served on many international juries and awards over the past decade, including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Archiprix, the RIBA President’s Medals, Archmarathon and the Venice Biennale.

Charles Holland is an architect, teacher and writer. He is the Principal of Charles Holland Architects, a design and research practice based in the UK, Professor of Architecture at the University of Brighton and a Visiting Professor at the ABK, Stuttgart.

Making Plans is a RIBA talks series in partnership with The Modern House. The series has been co-programmed with Charles Holland.

Other events in this series