Architect David Adjaye blends his African roots with cutting-edge contemporary technique to further what he calls “social architecture.”
Text | Ted Loos
Portrait | Simon Watson
David Adjaye is an outlier in the top tier of international architects in more ways than one. At 48, the Tanzanian-born Adjaye, who moved to the U.K. at age 13, is an unusually talented designer of spaces and structures; but the world has more than one of those. it’s the passionate case he makes for what he calls “social architecture” that is setting him apart these days, pushing him toward even more prominence. to Adjaye, social architecture means creating buildings that tell a story about people, binding them together in ways that go beyond a shared form of shelter.
“From day one, I’ve been committed to this idea of design democracy,” says the London-based Adjaye, who is socially very smooth and polished but can get heated up when it comes to this topic. “Great design is not just for the elite, it’s also for everyone else because it completely empowers people.”
Pick up a copy of the February/March 2015 issue of Cultured Magazine on newsstands now or read article online here.