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Curriculum Vitae

David Adjaye OBE

Sir David Adjaye OBE is Principal of Adjaye Associates with offices in London and New …
Sir David Adjaye OBE is Principal of Adjaye Associates with offices in London and New York. Photo: Courtesy New York Magazine.


Sir David Adjaye OBE is Principal of Adjaye Associates, with offices in London and New York.

Adjaye Associates has completed work around the globe. Two of the practice’s largest commissions are the collaborative design of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and the Moscow School of Management (SKOLKOVO). Further projects range in scale from private houses, exhibitions, and temporary pavilions to major arts centers, civic buildings, and master plans.

Completed works include: the regenerative Morning Lane Arches retail corridor in Hackney, London (2016); Sugar Hill museum and housing development in Harlem, New York (2015); the Aishti Foundation arts and shopping complex in Beirut, Lebanon (2015); Alara Concept Store in Lagos, Nigeria (2014); Marian Goodman Gallery, London (2014); the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at the Hutchins Centre, Harvard University (2014); two neighborhood libraries in Washington DC (2012); the Stephen Lawrence Centre in London (2007); the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver (2007); Rivington Place Gallery in London (2007); The Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo (2005); and the Idea Stores in Tower Hamlets, London (2004/05).

David Adjaye was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents and his influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities. He holds a Masters in Architecture from the Royal College of Art; Bachelor of Architecture; and Diploma in Architecture Distinction.

He set up his first office, Adjaye & Russell, in 1994 where his use of materials and his sculptural ability established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision. He reformed his studio as Adjaye Associates in 2000.

He frequently collaborates with contemporary artists on art and installation projects including The Upper Room, with thirteen paintings by Chris Ofili (2002), now in the permanent collect of Tate Britain, Within Reach, a second installation with Ofili in the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2003), the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art for the 21st Century Pavilion that was designed to show a projection work by Olafur Eliasson, Your Black Horizon, at the 2005 Venice Biennale and again with Okwui Enwezor on the design of the 56th Venice Art Biennale (2015).

David Adjaye has taught at the Royal College of Art and at the Architectural Association (AA) School in London, and has held distinguished professorships at the universities of Pennsylvania, Yale and Princeton. He is John C Portman Design Critic in Architecture at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.

He was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen for services to architecture and was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2007. He received the Design Miami/ Year of the Artist title in 2011, the Wall Street Journal Innovator Award in 2013 and the 2016 Panerai London Design Medal, awarded by the London Design Festival. He also won the RIBA President’s Medal Student Award (1993). He was the only architect named in the TIME list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2017.

The material from his ten-year study of the capital cities of Africa was shown in Urban Africa, an exhibition at the Design Museum, London (2010) and published as African Metropolitan Architecture (Rizzoli, 2011). He was the artistic director of GEO-graphics: A map of art practices in Africa, past and present, a major exhibition at the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (2010). An exhibition of his architectural work, David Adjaye: Output, was held at Gallery MA, Tokyo (2010). In 2015 a comprehensive retrospective exhibition of his work to date was held at Haus der Kunst in Munich and the Art Institute of Chicago. He co-authored two seasons of the BBC's Dreamspaces television series and hosts a BBC radio program. He presented the documentary Building Africa: Architecture of a Continent.

Last Updated: November 06, 2017
London, United Kingdom
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