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"For me, Identity is not about reinforcing obvious narrative" says David Adjaye at WAF 2018

Netherlands Architecture News - Nov 30, 2018 - 03:31   5664 views

Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, the founder and principal of Adjaye Associates, has delivered a special talk in the second of World Architecture Festival on "Idenitity", which was defined this year's theme for World Architecture Festival. 

In his 45-minute lecture, Adjaye said that "for me, Identity is not about reinforcing obvious narrative. For social identity, architecture can be achieved through form but architecture should also provide an agenda of critics," said Adjaye.

"It can be a big constituent for any project," he continued. 

The World Architecture Festival (WAF), the annual event is continuing in Amsterdam, alongside with its sister event INSIDE World Festival of Interiors. 

Sir David Adjaye was the last keynote speaker in the second of WAF. Adjaye shared his early completed and recent projects in his lecture, including Gwangju Folly II in South Korea, Aïshti Foundation gallery and shopping centre in Beirut, the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington D.C. and the National Cathedral of Ghana

Adjaye shared the design processes of his projects by explaining that  how he create different narratives or stories for each building that passes beyond form and material.

Aïshti Foundation gallery and shopping centre in Beirut. Image courtesy of Adjaye Associates

"For me, it's important on each project how can any moment be special beyond form and materiality," he explained. "I think architecture should devise a negotiation to create a meaningful form."

"And, if you are able to create a shift between the existing history and your approach, then you can create more intimate moments," Adjaye continued.

"I'm always interested in forgotten stories - to lift something between comfortable and uncomfortable." 

While explaining the difference between story and Identity, he added that "narratives, for me, should bring something that can be implicit or explicit into the project."

The National Cathedral of Ghana will be built in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The new Cathedral will be the first major project of Adjaye Associates there. Image © Adjaye Associates

"I'm not interested in aftereffects of Identity. There is no any precise thing on stories or architecture doesn't have to be precise in a story," he added.

"We can use utopian questions in architecture. I think architecture can be described as an activism of that moment in this sense," Adjaye continued. 

Adjaye, 51, was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents. The architect is known as one of the most influential architect of his generation. His diverse cultural background already became a strong base for him, and shaped his ability in an uncontrolled manner, even if he is best known with the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). 

Sir David Adjaye on the WAF 2018 stage. Image © WAC

Sir David Adjaye is also taking part in Super Jury of WAF, the grand jury will select the winners of the World Building, Interior, Future Project and Landscape of the Year. 

Sir David Adjaye on the WAF 2018 stage. Image © WAC

World Architecture Community is Media Partner for World Architecture Festival and will be following up the most fresh news, jury crits, awards and hotly-anticipated sessions on the spot during the event.

This year, David Adjaye spoke to World Architecture Community in an exclusive interview. "I'm very interested in the history of human activities, not in the history of computer activities. My buildings look like places that the humans want. It’s very important to me," Adjaye told World Architecture Community.

Sir David Adjaye in conversation with Chair Jeremy Melvin, Curator, World Architecture Festival

Top image: Gwangju Folly II in South Korea, image courtesy of Adjaye Associates

> via WAF