david adjaye at design indabaportrait © designboom


architect david adjaye , since his 2006 appearance on the design indaba stage, has documented the architecture of every city in africa ‘to figure out what the continent means’.



 david adjaye at design indaba conference 2013the new smithsonianimage courtesy adjaye associates


adjaye was chosen to design the smithsonian national museum of african american history and culture in washington, D.C. in homage to the half-a-million slaves brought into the US from africa, the sculpture of a king wearing a triple-headed crown made by the west african yoruba tribe informs the proposed shape of the building.




david adjaye at design indaba conference 2013the new smithsonianimage courtesy adjaye associates


there are decorative screens which inspired the highly skilled work done by african american slaves in new orleans, now reinvented in a cast, a super-light aluminium hybrid alloy coated in liquid bronze. expected to be completed by 2015. see the finalists here.



adjaye also showed a new typology for post-katrina house in new orleans, which turns the roof upside down to collect water and have open terraces on a double story to open up views and also for families to have place to wait for help if another flood disaster occurs. winter flooding is applicable to a cape flats context and we have asked why low-cost housing cannot be double storey. taking up the same area, but providing safe recreational space, views, space for a garden and rainwater collection…

more of his work has been introduced to the south-african audience — such as carnage house (designed for an art collector in new york), sunken house, dirty house and MCA denver demonstrated a masterful and innovative use of materials – black concrete poured in ways that honour the integrity and even beauty of the material, the use of a variety of appropriate wood substrates for decks, stairs, slats, load-bearing glass, the interplay of black or white – for walls, floors and ceilings – all washed with magical diffused lighting both LED and from his signature light wells.





david adjaye at design indaba conference 2013

design indaba conference 2013david adjaye has been one of the speakers at the 3-day design conference in cape town, south africa. the design indaba conference, which took place at the cape town international convention centre from february 27 to march 1, featured forty protagonists from the architecture, art and design world.