Designer Spotlight: David Adjaye

Feb 11, 2022

avid Adjaye is widely considered to be one of the most prominent architects of his time. Born in Tanzania in 1966, Adjaye moved with his diplomat, Ghanaian parents numerous times throughout his childhood. When Adjaye was nine, the family settled in Great Britain where he continued his education and went on to study and obtain a degree in Architecture.

Adjaye set up his first office in 1994, “where his ingenious use of materials and his sculptural ability established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision.” – Adjaye’s “influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities.” –

Throughout his celebrated career, he’s had a hand in many distinguished architectural projects all over the world. In 2005, he designed the Nobel Peace Center is Oslo, Norway. In 2007, Adjaye was chosen to design the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. In 2009, perhaps his most well-known endeavor, Adjaye was selected to lead the team in the creation and design of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

When Adjaye debuted his first furniture collection, the Washington Collection for Knoll, it showcased his architectural talents at a unique scale.

The bold design of Adjaye’s Washington collection has a strong correlation to the National Museum of African American History and Culture as you can see when comparing, “the back ribs of the Skin and Skeleton chairs, with the NMAAHC’s metal panels.” –

“This collection challenges materiality and form in much the same way that I try to work within the architectural context,” says Adjaye about his Washington Collection. For instance, the dynamic form of his Washington Skin Nylon Side Chair“ is accentuated by the unique design of the legs which reinforces the illusion of levity.” – The collection, created in 2013, is not only functional, but sculptural and striking. Hence, why it is still celebrated today!

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