25 January, 2018

The NMAAHC received the prestigious awards at a gala ceremony at the Design Museum in London last night and was praised by the jury for ‘epitomising exciting and impactful design’ and ‘capturing the spirit of the year’.


David Rowan, Chair of the jury and Editor-at-Large of WIRED magazine, said: ‘David Adjaye's Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC not only is a striking and already iconic structure at the heart of America's capital, but it's the realisation of an entire century of planning, rejection, political opposition and finally collaborative execution. But the building, opened by Barack Obama in September 2016, is also a powerful reminder that design enables a diverse conversation and can challenge the dominant political discourse. We felt that, in the context of today's strident American debate on race and identity, Adjaye's achievement represented optimism.’


Designer and jury member Ozwald Boateng OBE said: ‘We couldn’t look any further than the Smithsonian for the overall award. It is a project of beautiful design, massive cultural impact, delivers an emotional experience and has a scale deserved of this major award. You enter the building clouded in darkness and work your way through the displays and end bathed in light - this is a project that feels like a major turning point.’


Speaking of the win, Sir David Adjaye said: ‘I am truly humbled. I want to thank the Smithsonian, all our partners, stakeholders and supporters and the incredible team. It takes a huge team to make this work and we have done it. This award is for all of us. Thank you!’

Now in its 10th year, the Beazley Designs of the Year is the Design Museum’s flagship exhibition and awards, recognising trailblazing new work from around the world across six design categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport. Selected by a panel of distinguished international designers, curators and creatives, the awards showcase the most original and exciting products, concepts and designers in the world today.

The Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition is on show at the Design Museum in London until 18th February.

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