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    Parsons Firm Visit: David Adjaye's NYC Office

    Jessica Coleman
    Nov 30, '08 1:49 PM EST



    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.


    • Lovely office. Wouldn't expect anything less from Adjaye.

      Also, be interested in hearing seeing more about this HUD project in Harlem.
      I may have to do some research....

      Nov 30, 08 5:20 pm  · 

      ahhh dats wot i call it workplace ...:''(

      Dec 3, 08 4:21 am  · 

      I see a few empty chairs there maybe I should go apply to work there. Great pictures...anymore??

      Dec 3, 08 11:46 am  · 

      Hello, I am currently a planner and I am looking to get my masters in architecture. I figure the best thing to do in a recession is to go to school. Can you please let me know your dislikes and likes for the master of architecture program? Do you have any regrets?

      Do you think it is possible to work during the day in a Architectural position and attend classes in the evening, typically three nights per week? Are night classes offered in the program? If yes, would you be able to qualify immediately upon graduation to take the ARE examination. For example, i know that the Boston Architectural collage (BAC) program has that option, but it would take most students approximately 5 years. Have you heard about BAC, do you think it's a good school?

      I am very excited to hear from you. Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts.

      Jun 5, 09 5:58 pm  · 

      Good indeed. I don't want to miss this opportunity. Thanks for such information. Debroah blog

      Jan 7, 10 2:02 am  · 

      Adjaye's project is not with the NYC Housing Authority or HUD. It is with Broadway Housing Communities, a West Harlem non-profit that has been rehabilitating buildings for affordable housing since 1983. This is a stellar project. You can learn more here-

      Jan 22, 10 8:36 pm  · 

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