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David Adjaye to curate 2020 Royal Academy summer exhibition

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David Adjaye is to curate the architecture room at the 2020 Royal Academy summer exhibition – and is calling for projects which tackle the theme of climate, geography and culture

The subject of the show at the Piccadilly-based institution follows on from this year’s architecture room, which saw curator Spencer de Grey, head of design at Foster + Partners, call for projects with a strong sustainable agenda.

The invitation for the 2020 submissions asks for responses focusing on: site, geography, climate, political climate, people, community and culture.

The Royal Academy’s entry statement reads: ‘As architects and designers, we tend to see climate and geography as forces to be contended with, to be adapted to, but in truth these are flexible forces.

‘Climate and geography create a set of progressively changing physical and societal conditions, and it is in these conditions that architecture – regardless of its philosophical origins – has to take its place and adapt its identity. What can it accomplish when it effectively and sensitively responds to a situation – and to the planet – at a certain moment?

It adds: ’Submissions should demonstrate thoughts, awareness or responses to the context through architectural models and visual projections and other material.’

Previous curators of the architecture room have included Piers Gough, Farshid Moussavi, Eva Jiřičná and Eric Parry. This summer the judges, led by de Grey, chose a drawing of a lavender farm built from materials found on a forest site in the South Downs National Park to win the top award for architecture. 

The ‘beautiful [and] expressive’ pencil and charcoal design by Threefold Architects, entitled From Forest to Facade, A Woodlands Survey, was handed the £5,000 Rocco Forte Hotels architecture prize.

In 2018 the Royal Academy was given a £56 million overhaul by David Chipperfield.

Entry to the summer exhibition 2020 opens on 6 January and costs £35 per work. Click here for more information.

Adjaye was elected to the Royal Academy in 2017, in the same year a drawing (below) of his now-complete Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture was exhibited at the summer show.

Adayredrawing smithsonian ra summer exhbition 2017

Adayredrawing smithsonian ra summer exhbition 2017

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, 2017 by David Adjaye Medium: Digital archival inkjet print on hahnemühle photo rag paperDimensions [size] 1230 mm x 890 mm x 30 mm

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