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Interview with Architect David Adjaye

It's True! I had the honor of interviewing Sir David Adjaye: 2021 Royal Gold Medalist for Architecture (RIBA), World-renowned Architect, and master of innovation and storytelling through space.

For as long I can remember, I have always been impressed with David Adjaye's architectural and design style. His bold and simple moves, and iconic expressions were clearly evident when I toured through his new building and space: The Winter Park Library - in Winter Park Florida, USA.

In my interview I asked David questions surrounding the library and then shifted to more general questions around his opinions and design process (Watch the video at the end for the full visual interview).

About David Adjaye

Adjaye was born to Ghanaian parents in Tanzania, where his father, a diplomat, was stationed at the time. Because of his father’s career, Adjaye lived in several countries in Africa and the Middle East during his youth. His family eventually settled in London. His interest in art led him to earn a B.Arch. from London South Bank University (1990) and an M.Arch. from the Royal College of Art (1993). Adjaye worked at a few architectural firms while still in school before partnering with William Russell to form Adjaye and Russell in 1994. He started Adjaye Associates in 2000.

The Winter Park Library

The new Winter Park Library is such an immense asset to the area. Winter Park holds a history of oppression and discrimination towards African America's, so the library being designed by a Black-owned design firm and architect is bold shift for the future.

The building is two levels with a wrap around main circulation. The staircase to the second floor immediately caught my eye when I walked in, and the pops of purple, pink, and orange are pleasant surprises throughout the space.

In addition to the comprehensive book collection, the Winter Park library is neighbors with an events center a maker space, rooftop terrace, and gardens that will host performances and film screenings. Also on hand: fishing poles, binoculars, and other instruments for guests to use when visiting.

The Interview

I have been living in Winter Park since the middle of 2020 (for pandemic reasons), and ever since I saw the break ground, I told myself - "I want to interview David Adjaye when he's in town for the ground breaking."

Well I may not have got an in-person interview (because of bad timing), but I got a phone interview instead! I only had 10 minutes so while you're watching the YouTube video, forgive the rushed tone and nervous energy throughout the interview. With a 2 minute warning before the call, I did the best I could!

Watch the full interview on YouTube at the link below.

Check out the full interview and be sure to subscribe to the channel for more updates like these!

David and his communications team - Thank you from the bottom of my heart for inviting me to do this interview!

Written by Erica Williams

Founder of The Design Bloc

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