Adjaye Wins Beazley Design of the Year 2017

John Hill
26. January 2018
Photo: Brad Feinknopf

The National Museum of African American History and Culture – designed by Adjaye Associates in partnership with The Freelon Group, Davis Brody Bond and SmithGroupJJR – has been named the Overall Winner in the Beazley Designs of the Year 2017.

The ten-year old prize, run by London's Design Museum and sponsored by Beazley, finds the best designs of the year in Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product, and Transport categories. More than sixty designs were shortlisted in August 2017, with thirteen in the Architecture category. Here are the winners in the six categories:

  • Architecture Design of the Year: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC
  • Digital Design of the Year: MIT Self Assembly Lab's Rapid Liquid Printing 
  • Graphic Design of the Year: "Fractured Lands," New York Times Magazine
  • Fashion Design of the Year: Nike Pro Hijab
  • Product Design of the Year: AIR-INK, made from air pollution
  • Transport Design of the Year: Scewo, a stairclimbing mobility device

Photo: Brad Feinknopf

The NMAAHC opened in September 2016 to wide critical acclaim. Its three-tiered exterior, dubbed the "Corona," consists of 3,600 bronze-colored cast-aluminum panels that Adjaye designed with imagery from both African and American history. About half of the museum's square footage is underground, where galleries and a theater are located, to give the building a low profile on the National Mall.

Per an article at Dezeen, the prize's official media partner, the judges called the building "a major turning point" in architecture and selected it as a "reminder that design enables a diverse conversation and can challenge the dominant political discourse."

For more information on the NMAAHC, see our story on its opening, and to see more photos of its exterior and interior, visit photographer Brad Feinknopf's profile.

Photo: Brad Feinknopf

Previous Design of the Year Winners:

  • 2016 Better Shelter by Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, the IKEA Foundation and UNHCR​
  • 2015 Human Organs-on-Chips by Donald Ingber and Dan Dongeun Huh at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute
  • 2014 Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid Architects
  • 2013 GOV.UK – UK Government website by GDS
  • 2012 London 2012 Olympic Torch by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby
  • 2011 Plumen 001 by Samuel Wilkinson and Hulger
  • 2010 Folding Plug by Min-Kyu Choi
  • 2009 Barack Obama Poster by Shepard Fairey
  • 2008 One Laptop Per Child by Yves Béhar

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