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A new talk series at Sir John Soane’s Museum, in partnership with Luke Irwin, in which leading figures from across the world of design discuss their practice through a single object. In the third talk, Alice Rawsthorn talks to architect David Adjaye.
In this new series, Sir John Soane’s Museum invites a range of practitioners from various design disciplines to select an object that has inspired them in some way, and through it discuss and dissect their own design practice. Inspired by Sir John Soane’s own extraordinary collection, and co-hosted by Will Gompertz, Arts Editor at the BBC, and Alice Rawsthorn, design writer and critic, the series will reflect on the power of objects – large or small, mundane or exceptional, aesthetic or utilitarian – to spark new ideas, and act as a spur for different forms of creativity. Speakers include Peter Saville, Martino Gamper, David Adjaye, Es Devlin, Edmund de Waal and Olga Polizzi.
Sir David Adjaye OBE is the principal and founder of Adjaye Associates. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his broadly ranging influences, ingenious use of materials and sculptural ability have established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision. His largest project to date, the $540 million Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in fall of 2016 and was named Cultural Event of the Year by the New York Times. In 2017, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people of the year by TIME magazine.
Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic and the author of the critically acclaimed books, Design as an Attitude and Hello World: Where Design Meets Life. Her weekly design column for The New York Times was syndicated worldwide for over a decade. Alice speaks on design at important global events including TED and the World Economic Forum in Davos. Born in Manchester and based in London, Alice is chair of the boards of trustees of The Hepworth Wakefield art gallery in Yorkshire and the contemporary dance group Michael Clark Company. A founding member of the Writers for Liberty campaign to champion human rights and freedoms, Alice has been awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts.