Video conference | Elsie Owusu: “Architecture, Art & Inclusion: Lockdown Dreams”

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On May 6, British architect and urban designer Elsie Owusu will close the 2020 Foros lecture series with a video conference open to the public entitled “Architecture, Art & Inclusion: Lockdown Dreams”. In it, Owusu will address to what extent the global situation generated by the Covid-19 pandemic will allow architects, artists and engineers to rethink the sector dynamics and evolve towards a new model. In her own words, “As the international CoVid-19 lockdown eases, architects, artists and engineers are inventing a new “business as usual”. We are making this period of enforced isolation an opportunity for contemplation- to see visions and dream dreams, making a new resilient society based on smart technology, equality, diversity and social justice. Pandemic protocols will continue as ingenuity grows. Creative and inclusive home-based networks of mini and micro-practices, long derided by mainstream architecture as “cottage industries”, will triumph. Like landline to mobile telephony we can, together, leapfrog from the 19th century into the 21st and 22nd centuries”.

Elsie Owusu OBE is an urban architect and designer. For 10 years, she was a partner in the Feilden + Mawson studio, where she co-directed the renovation of the UK Supreme Court building and redesigned the entrance to Green Park underground station. In 2015 she founded her own architectural firm. Her current projects include: a studio-residence for artist Yinka Shonibare in Lagos; a low-energy house in Sussex; and an ecological development plan in Takoradi, Ghana. 

Elsie Owusu is also director of JustGhana, an ethical organisation that promotes domestic investment and good governance in Ghana with a special focus on education for children and young people in the creative industries.  

In 2003, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE), granted by Queen Elizabeth II, for her services in the field of architecture as founding President of the Society of Black Architects. She was elected African Businesswoman of the Year in 2014. She was a finalist for the presidency of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2018, a position given to Irish architect Alan Jones instead. 

The new edition of Foros, an annual lecture series on architecture, has been given the following title "Co-benefits". Foros 2020 aims to reflect on the links and processes of cultural interaction between contemporary architecture and other art forms such as dance, sculpture, film or comic books.

Language: English.

Video conference