Mae-ling Lokko photo by Shannon Straney

Mae-ling Lokko

Assistant Professor

Mae-ling Lokko is an architectural scientist, designer and educator from Ghana and the Philippines who works with agrowaste and renewable biobased materials. Through her work, Lokko explores themes of “generative justice” through the development of new models of distributed production and collaboration. In her artistic and design practice, her work deconstructs historical narratives and practices of extraction through the design of new material vocabularies and the prototpying of participatory models of distributed production.

Lokko’s research focuses on ecological design, integrated material life cycle design and the broad development and evaluation of renewable biobased materials. She has previously taught at Cooper Union and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she served as the Director of the Building Sciences Program as well as Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture and Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology (CASE). Lokko holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science in Architectural Science from the Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology, RPI, and a B.A from Tufts University.

She is the founder of Willow Technologies, Ltd. based in Accra, Ghana that upcycles agrowaste into affordable biobased building materials and for water quality treatment applications. Her work was nominated for the Visible Award 2019, Royal Academy Dorfman Award 2020 and she was a finalist for the Hublot Design Prize 2019. Her current research is funded by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the SOM Foundation Research Prize, and in the recent past by the British Council, MIT’s Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative, the Luma Foundation, Housing the Human 2019 and the NYSERDA-NEXUS Clean Energy Accelerator Program.

Lokko’s recent works have been exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands; 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennial, Estonia; Serralves Museum, Portugal; Museum of the Future, Dubai; Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture, Belgium; Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture, Belgium; Sonsbeek Biennial, Netherlands; Triennale Milano, Italy; Somerset House, London; Radialsystem, Berlin, Luma Foundation, Arles, 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, Rhode Island School of Design and at the Royal Institute of British Architects-North. Her work and writing has been featured in ICON Magazine, eFlux, Blueprint, Wallpaper, MOLD Magazine, Frieze Magazine, RIBA Journal, DOMUS, DAMN Magazine, and other global design publications.

BA, Tufts University
MS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Spring 2023
Soil Sisters
Mae-ling Lokko
Fall 2022
Environmental Design
Mae-ling Lokko, Mohamed Aly Etman