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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. They are deeply ingrained in our psyche as a way of memorialising our triumphs and failures. Through this exhibition, celebrated architect Sir David Adjaye OBE presents a new architectural narrative for the monument where architecture and form are used as storytelling devices.

Discover seven of Adjaye’s landmark structures to explore the design, role and use of contemporary monuments. With projects including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C and the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London, these monuments and memorials show how Adjaye uses architecture and form to reflect on history, memory and record human lives.

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 in Washington D.C. Image by Alan Karchmer.

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.

Sclera

Sclera, Adjaye Associates. Image by Leonardo Finotti.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

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

Explore monuments and memorials throughout history

Photographs of monuments and memorials. Credit: Ed Reeve

Sclera

Sclera. Credit: Ed Reeve.

Installation image. Credit: Ed Reeve

TICKET INFORMATION

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David Adjaye: Making Memory

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Tickets £10.90
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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

Sir David Adjaye In Conversation

To mark the opening of his exhibition Making Memory, hear Sir David Adjaye discuss his work and interest in monuments and memorials, with architect and curator Nikolaus Hirsch.

BSL Tour - David Adjaye: Making Memory

Join this British Sign Language tour of the Design Museum’s current exhibition David Adjaye: Making Memory.

Multisensory Tour - David Adjaye: Making Memory

Join this Multisensory Tour of the Design Museum’s current exhibition David Adjaye: Making Memory, for blind and partially sighted visitors.

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