Lila Allen — Metropolis: On Life and Meaning

Lila AllenLila Allen is managing editor of Metropolis Magazine, a monthly magazine about architecture and design. She has written extensively about art, design and popular culture in publications ranging from Architectural Record to Kinder Journal. Lila served as an Assistant Creative Manager at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and as Public Programs Coordinator at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. She is a former editor-in-chief of Charlotte Viewpoint, a civic and cultural magazine exploring metropolitan ideas and art. She is a recipient of the 2016 Monotype Award for Excellence in Design Criticism and the Paula Rhodes Memorial Award. She earned a B.A. in Art History from Davidson College and an M.A. in Design Research, Writing and Criticism from the School of Visual Arts in New York.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in magazine editing and writing, architecture and design, and living and working in New York City.

In This Episode
In This Episode


  • Lila describes Metropolis Magazine and what the magazine seeks to do.
  • She explains what a managing editor does and what she loves about her work.
  • She defines good design and why she is drawn to it.
  • She talks about whether the magazine looks critically at what it publishes.
  • Lila reveals what different schools of design have in common.
  • She identifies which cities are getting the idea of a Metropolis right.
  • She shares what urban design trends are exciting to her.
  • She reflects on her childhood and growing up in Charlotte.
  • Lila talks about how Davidson College shaped her career.
  • She explains how giving tours at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art helped develop her writing.
  • She shares what serving as editor-in-chief of Charlotte Viewpoint taught her.
  • She reveals why she moved to New York and what she loves about the city.
  • Lila talks about working at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and her work now.
  • She discusses her master’s degree thesis and the meaning of ‘zaniness.’
  • She considers the connection between zaniness and design.
  • She shares why she is attracted to pop culture and what magazines she reads.
  • Lila remembers her father and reflects on this point in her career.

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