David Adjaye on African-American museum and architecture and social housing

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The architect Sir David Adjaye was born in Tanzania to a Ghanaian diplomat. He studied in London and found his first clients in Britain's art world.

He's gone on to design private homes, public housing, museums, a management center in Moscow as well as products and furniture.

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The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Photo by Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC

But last year was a game changer. He received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth and then came the opening of his most important commission to date: the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

An exhibition of his work, Form, Heft, Material, is currently on display at the Garage Museum in Gorky Park in Moscow; and he has been appointed by London's Mayor Sadiq Khan to a group of architects who will advise on improving the city's housing quality and availability, following public outrage over the Grenfell Tower fire.

Adjaye reflects on the impact of the Smithsonian museum, the power of light, the emergence of African architects and why his first project in the US was housing for the underserved in Harlem.