Airdate: August 8, 2018

Lila 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.  


  • Lila describes Metropolis Magazine, what a managing editor does, and what she loves about her work.

  • She talks about whether the magazine looks critically at what it publishes and what different schools of design have in common.

  • She identifies which cities are getting the idea of a Metropolis right.

  • Lila reflects on her childhood growing up in Charlotte and attending Davidson College shaped her career.

  • She explains how giving tours at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art helped develop her writing and what serving as editor-in-chief of Charlotte Viewpoint taught her.

  • Lila reveals why she moved to New York, what she loves about the city, and working at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • She discusses her master's degree thesis, the meaning of 'zaniness,' and her attraction to pop culture.

  • Lila remembers her father and reflects on this point in her career.

plus Mark's Personal Word Essay: A Star is Born

To Learn More About Lila


  • What struck you about Lila's comments?

  • What are the elements of good design?

  • What does Metropolis mean to you?

  • Why do you live and work where you do?

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This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts. 

Further support is provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, delivering exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. 

And by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's resource hub and lead advocate for the regional cultural community, providing Culture for All.

Additional support is provided by the UNC College of Arts + Architecture, celebrating a decade of creative education in the arts and design.