Photo: Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye led the design team for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.
FROM THIS EPISODE
President Trump's campaign speeches made it clear that as president, he would build a “great” and “beautiful” wall along the US-Mexico border.
An example of Riverdale Mills' wire mesh fence with razor wire. The company is a finalist
in the competition to design theTrump administration's proposed US-Mexico border wall.
Photo courtesy Riverdale Mills
Customs and Border Protection officials held an open call for bids for the multibillion-dollar construction contract. Some 200 applications were accepted. This summer journalists were expecting to be going down to San Diego to look at prototypes of the finalists for this supposed border wall. And yet nothing has materialized.
Architectural journalist Ian Volner looked for answers why, and found an unusual level of secrecy surrounding a fast-shrinking wall.
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.
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.
DnA: The long road to the Smithsonian's new African-American museum
DnA: Pussyhat Project was made in LA, with a little inspiration from David Adjaye
David Adjaye on Designing a Museum That Speaks a Different Language
More From Design and Architecture
Paradise of the Ordinary, steel tariffs Los Angeles is pushing for greater densification, even as many Angelenos still dream of the single family home. We visit the city of Lakewood to see how they are keeping that dream alive. And we visit a metals supplier in Gardena, to find out how steel tariffs are impacting design projects in Los Angeles.
Liveaboards, Emory Douglas Sick of high rents but want to be close to the ocean? Very close? DnA explores the charms and challenges of living aboard a boat, and learns about the changes coming as Marina del Rey becomes more “corporate.” And we meet Emory Douglas, “revolutionary artist” for the Black Panthers whose bold graphics still hold lessons for protest art today.
Backyard homes, John Parkinson Is the solution to LA's housing crisis in our backyards? DnA visits a Highland Park couple that worked with the city on test-building an ADU, or accessory dwelling unit. Did it pencil out, and can ADUs be a new frontier for design innovation? And do you know the name of the man who built much of downtown Los Angeles? DnA speaks to the director of the first-ever documentary about architect John Parkinson.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
5 design things to do this week This week: hear local authors discuss The Big Sleep’s gritty depiction of LA, join designers considering privacy and privatization in Echo Park, talk about whether LA’s development is balancing growth and quality, play tennis at a stunning architectural landmark, and catch Hockney’s 82 portraits at LACMA before it closes. Read More
The revolutionary art of Emory Douglas Emory Douglas was the “revolutionary artist” and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party. His bold graphics, now on show at LACE, still hold lessons for protest art today. Read More