david adjaye: urban africa
david adjaye: urban africa
mar 24, 2010

david adjaye: urban africa

asmara, eritrea photo by david adjaye

david adjaye: urban africa design museum, london march 31st – september 5th, 2010

london-based architect, david adjaye‘s ‘urban africa’ is his photographic journey through key cities in africa. the series of images are part of an ongoing project in which adjaye is studying new patterns of urbanism, addressing our scarce knowledge of the built environment in africa.

a continent which is often defined by its underdevelopment, poverty, war and urbanism, adjaye has photographed the salient features of africa’s suburban settlements. he has captured the unofficial developments and townscapes which reveal the cities themselves, examining the buildings and places which have special resonance with his preoccupations as an architect.

cities included in the series are the capital city of rwanda, showing traces of its colonial past, tripoli in libya, which is very much invaded by the energy of the present, the informal settlements on the edges of new cities like abuja, nigeria and traces of the apartheid which are still inscribed on pretoria, south africa.

this is the first occasion in which the images will be presented together, as a series of large-scale projections, set against a backdrop of african beats which have been composed especially for the exhibition by peter adjaye. ‘urban africa’ documents the nature of urban life in the developing continent, providing a geo-cultural survey of the african city within the global context.

david adjaye: urban africa cairo, egypt photo by david adjaye

david adjaye: urban africa abidjan, côte d’ivoire photo by david adjaye

david adjaye: urban africa gaborone, botswana photo by david adjaye

david adjaye: urban africa architect david adjaye portrait by ed reeve

  • commendable
    but why has it had no influence whatsoever on his own recent architecture, which looks white and modernist (whatever that means)?
    its like he says one thing and does another..
    is that the reality of being a black architect?
    or could we expect a little more?

    amIalonehere? says:
  • agree with amIalone, this is commendable Im looking forward to the show. About frinkin time…
    but where are the african designers and architects?
    adjaye is an english tourist like anyone else

    enthusiast says:
  • What about the actual photography…..

    Does anybody actually think they are good compositions?

    I have recently been to Kampala & Nairobi and there is a photo opportunity around every corner. He must of taken thousands of shots and these are the best?


    Paul. says:
  • Paul. I agree with you.
    There must be better black photographers out there.

    Ed Reeve has done a good job taking a picture of him though.

    darwin says:
  • yes darwin, but, unemployed and broke or not, DA actually got off his ass and got the job done
    as to the reason why he’s unemployed and broke, well, maybe thats our fault as much as his. For example, when famous african-americans do commission architecture, they tend to favour english-italians with scary websites (yes claudio silvestrin, thats you :-))

    LOL says:
  • um LOL, think I know the gaffe prone celebrity you mention.
    his own design blog has its moments tho..

    dontknockit says:
  • would your posts would have been different if the photographer was white? Shake your own les and show us what you can do instead of critisisin someones’s exibition that is not on yet. Dumbasses!!!!

    i am a white belgian (don't ask where belgium is dumbasses) says:
  • um, white belgian
    I think you missed the point

    completely says:
  • ok, now I get it
    sorry, I was the dumbass…

    i am a white belgian says:
  • um, yeah.it wasnt a criticism, just a comment 🙂

    LOL says:
  • my comments would have been exactly the same whoever it was.and btw its not only white people who can comment on designblogs ya know 😉

    dontknockit says:
  • Why does it matter what colour the guy is?

    Talented Architect; Holiday photos – terrible!

    Paul. says:
  • Any designer working in practice knows that if a client wants a specific building typology than then of course any designer will provide… David has by far the most diverse design firm out there. The trouble with having one style is that you either love it or hate it. Great designers are oblivious to limits.

    David Adjaye is continuously rising and this exhibition will surely be unmissable.

    Realist says:
  • Agree

    Rogers says:

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