Key Speaker

David Adjaye

Sir David Adjaye’s material inventiveness and sculptural ability, combined with design influences including contemporary and African art, music, science, and city life, have established the British-Ghanaian architect as a designer with an artist’s vision and sensibilities. 

Although not yet 50, Adjaye has an impressive portfolio. In 2005, he inserted the Nobel Peace Center in a disused Oslo railway station, and in 2007 completed the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and the Rivington Place exhibition venue and resource centre and the Bernie Grant Centre for the Performing Arts, both in London. He received an OBE in the same year. In 2010, the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo was completed, and by the time of the NZIA conference Adjaye’s US$500m Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture will have opened in Washington, DC. Adjaye is on the shortlist for the design of Barack Obama’s presidential library, and has projects underway on four continents. 

Adjaye has worked with artists Olafur Eliasson, Richard Avedon and Chris Offili. With Ofili, he collaborated on the British exhibition at the 2003 Venice Art Biennale. He has taught at the Royal College of Art and the Architectural Association in London, and has held professorships at Pennsylvania, Yale and Princeton. Currently, he is the John C. Portman Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard.