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David Adjaye: Making Memory

How can a building shape our perception of events – and how can architecture, rather than words, be used to tell stories?

Discover new monuments and memorials by celebrated British-Ghanaian architect, Sir David Adjaye OBE. Get a first peek at ongoing work and explore the influences behind the highly acclaimed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. and more.

Find out more about all seven projects here

'One of the world’s most imaginative architects' Financial Times

'The seven projects range from the grand and timeless to the tiny and temporary, the poetic to the bombastic' ★★★★★ The Times

'This is how an architecture exhibition should be done' ★★★★★ Londonist

What to expect

The form that monuments take and the way that they are used is constantly changing. Monuments are a record of who we are in the world and what we have done – but is everyone represented? And what about the future – can we build monuments to that?

Discover seven of celebrated British-Ghanaian architect, Sir David Adjaye’s landmark structures through the use of full scale installations, films, exquisite architectural models, rare artefacts that influenced the creative process and more.

Projects include the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C and the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London. Find out more about all seven projects here.

This exhibition is part of the Design Museum programme inviting designers to think in public about a theme of their choice. Previous collaborations include Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius and 100 Mile City by Peter Barber.

The exhibition is supported by American Hardwood Export Council and Hitachi Digital Media Group.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Credit: Ed Reeve.

Installation image. Credit: Ed Reeve

Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial fragment

Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial fragment designed by David Reinfurt Studio. Credit: Ed Reeve

Gwangju Pavilion

Gwangju Pavilion, Adjaye Associates. Image by Kyungsub Shin.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. Image by Alan Karchmer.

Sclera

Sclera, Adjaye Associates. Image by Leonardo Finotti.

Explore monuments and memorials throughout history

Photographs of monuments and memorials. Credit: Ed Reeve

Sclera

Sclera. Credit: Ed Reeve.

TICKET INFORMATION

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David Adjaye: Making Memory

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Tickets £10.90
Concession, family and gift tickets available
Free to members
Children go free from 1 – 25 April

Sir David Adjaye OBE

Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents David Adjaye’s influences range from contemporary art and music to science and African art forms. After moving to the UK, Adjaye studied architecture at the London South Bank University and the Royal College of Art before setting up his first office in 1994 which was later reformed as Adjaye Associates in 2000. His work creating striking private houses for artists and high-profile clients in London, led to several new public buildings such as the Idea Stores and the Stephen Lawrence Centre.

Over the past few decades Adjaye has established himself as one of the leading architects of his generation. While his portfolio is diverse, ranging from private residential buildings to massive civic institutions, there are several recurring themes in his work. One of those themes relates to monuments and memorials: complex spaces of public memory which can elicit raw emotional responses – from celebration to loss.

FIND OUT MORE

In-depth

In this collection of interviews and blog features, the Design Museum spoke to Sir David Adjaye and a number of artists featured or involved in the Making Memory exhibition. Read on to find out more.

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Related events

John Akomfrah in Conversation

John Akomfrah joins a panel of thinkers and practitioners for a discussion on the architecture of memory, migration and multiculturalism.

Background Image | A series of Asante umbrellas that influenced the design of the National Cathedral of Ghana. Credit: Ed Reeve