Parsons Firm Visit: David Adjaye's NYC Office
I admire the work of Mr. Adjaye and in his addition to philosophy to his influence from Africa. I hope that as a profession we can come to embrace diversity within firms, history, and theory. Architecture remains to be one of the least integrated professions in terms of race and gender.
Out of the thousands of architecture students that graduate this year professional programs less than 150 of them will be Black. And less than a quarter of that will be Black women, like myself. I will graduate with my M.Arch in 2009. The visit of Adjaye's office is a refreshing reminder of the possibilities of a what a Black architect can achieve in this profession.
After elbowing through the madness that is Chinatown, I arrived at the firm visit to see a small stark white office/studio space. Along with 20 other students, we able to see an in-depth presentation of Adjaye's past work and future projects. His work is primarily based in residential projects, but has branched out into more institutional projects such as libraries, schools, and skyscrapers.
He has several ongoing commissions and I was surprised to hear that he will be designing a large apartment complex for NYC Housing Authority in Harlem.
The firm space was laid back and open. The NY office was smaller than I expected with only 8 employees working there. But it appears to be a nice atmosphere and less corporate than other firms that I have seen.
Firm culture is still somewhat of a mystery to me. I would like to be in a place that I enjoy, but as unstable as the economy is... job prospects will become more dire. Who knows? My graduation is less than 6 months away and I can only hope that things will get better.