The David Adjaye-designed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C., has been named Design of the Year 2017 by the Design Museum in London.
The Ghanian British architect and his practice Adjaye Associates led the museum’s design in collaboration with the Freelon Group, David Brody Bond, and SmithGroupJJR. Opened in September 2016, the museum is only the second building to win the designation in the award’s 10-year history. The first building to have been selected was Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan in 2014. (Last year, Ikea’s “Better Shelter” refugee shelter won the award.)
In addition to winning the overall design of the year, the striking pagoda-like structure also won the Beazley Architecture Design of the Year, with judges highlighting its role as a “reminder that design enables a diverse conversation and can challenge the dominant political discourse.”
Other winners of the Beazley Designs of the Year 2017 awards are Nike’s Pro Hijab in the fashion category; AIR-INK, an ink made from air pollution in the product design category; and Scewo, a stair-climbing wheelchair in the transport category. The winning designs as well as shortlisted projects are on exhibit at the Design Museum until February 18.