David Adjaye. © Ed Reeve/Courtesy Adjaye Associates

Last Thursday, British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye, Hon. FAIA, took to the Oprah Winfrey Theater stage at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C., to discuss the roles of space and narrative in architecture with hip-hop architectural theorist and architect Craig Wilkins.

Following his presentation, ARCHITECT's Katharine Keane sat down with Adjaye (who was the lead designer of the NMAAHC and is currently working on the London's Holocaust Memorial) to talk about the importance of diversity and education in the industry.

Why is this discussion of diversity in architecture important now?
We are at a moment in history. This museum has been built and it concretizes certain stories that are really spatial stories, having to do with separations and reconciliations. And we’re seeing the effect of this building now through two different administrations, and I think that this idea is very important—that the landscape is democratized.

This idea of kind of a democratized landscape—a democratized knowledge base where everybody learns from each other—is profoundly powerful.

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