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Time 100 includes David Adjaye, list’s sole architect

The 50-year-old architect was named as an “Icon”

Shot of Washington Monument alongside the copper edges of a tiered copper building.
David Adjaye was the lead architect of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Photo by André Chung

Sir David Adjaye OBE, the Ghanaian British architect, has been selected as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. Adjaye, whose National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in Washington, D.C., in September, is the only architect and designer to make the annual list of the world’s movers and shakers.

The influencers, who include, among others, presidents, entertainers, business people, and scientists, are divided into five categories: Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Titans, and Icons. The 50-year-old architect and founder of Adjaye Associates was nominated in the Icons category alongside U.S. Rep. John Lewis (who introduced a bill in 1988 to create a national African American museum in Washington), actress Viola Davis, writer Margaret Atwood, and Guatemalan judge Thelma Aldana.

Thelma Golden, the director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, wrote in her introduction of Adjaye: “His work—deeply rooted in both the present moment and the complex context of history—has envisioned new ways for culture to be represented and reflected in the built environment.” Golden and Adjaye are currently working together on a new building for the museum. Check out the full list here.