Architect David Adjaye awarded 2016 Eugene McDermott Award

Architect David Adjaye awarded 2016 Eugene McDermott Award

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Courtesy of Adjaye Associates.
September 10, 2015
Architect David Adjaye awarded 2016 Eugene McDermott Award

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Award includes 100K USD cash prize, artist residency, gala and four public programs at MIT

Architect David Adjaye OBE is the recipient of the 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. The 100,000 USD cash prize awarded at a gala in his honor also includes an artist residency at MIT in spring 2016, during which Adjaye will participate in four public programs. These will include panels and symposia focused on the future of the museum, library and campus, as well as a keynote lecture about his own body of work. Adjaye’s current high-profile architectural projects include the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, DC and The Studio Museum in Harlem. An extensive retrospective of his work opens at the Art Institute of Chicago on September 19, 2015.

David Adjaye’s remarks upon receiving the award:
“In my career I have sought to cross creative platforms, to collaborate with artists and designers from different disciplines, and to focus on the creative discourse surrounding the act of making things. I believe it is this dialogue—the cultural intersection—that moves us forward, generates new possibilities and creates greatness. The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT has long stood for exactly this principle, and it is for this reason I am both supremely honoured and supremely humbled to be named as this year’s recipient.”

The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT celebrates individuals whose artistic trajectory reveals that they will achieve the highest distinction in their fields and continue to produce inspiring work for many years to come. The 100,000 USD prize represents an investment in the recipient’s future creative work, rather than a prize for a particular project or lifetime of achievement. The official announcement will be made at the Council for the Arts at MIT’s 43rd annual meeting at MIT on October 30, 2015; Adjaye will be presented with the award at a gala in his honor on March 29, 2016. Past recipients include Olafur Eliasson, Robert Lepage Gustavo Dudamel, Bill Viola, Suzan Lori Parks and Santiago Calatrava, among others.

From MIT Associate Provost and Ford International Professor of History Philip S. Khoury:
“We are delighted to celebrate the visionary architect David Adjaye at MIT, where we excel in forward thinking design and international cross disciplinary work. It is particularly fitting, since MIT established the first architecture program in the U.S., and our Cambridge campus, which celebrates its centennial this year, is home to significant buildings by such stellar architects as Fumihiko Maki, Frank Gehry, Stephen Holl, Charles Correa ’55, I.M. Pei ’40”, Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen.”

Campus residency and public programs
A distinctive feature of the award is a short residency at MIT, which includes a public presentation of the artist’s work, substantial interaction with students and faculty, and a gala that convenes national and international leaders in the arts. The goal of the residency is to provide the recipient with unparalleled access to the creative energy and cutting-edge research at the Institute and to develop mutually enlightening relationships in the MIT community.

Public programs by David Adjaye at MIT:
Future of the Library: February 10–11
Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT keynote lecture: Tuesday, March 29
Future of the Campus, part of the MIT 2016 centennial celebration: March 30–31
Future of the Museum: April 27–28

Further information about the public programs will be posted at

About the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts
The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT was established in 1974 by the Council for the Arts at MIT. The Award recognizes innovative talents in any arts discipline and offers its recipient a 100,000 USD cash prize and a campus residency. The selection process reflects MIT’s commitment to risk taking, problem solving, and the idea of connecting creative minds across disciplines. The Award honors Eugene McDermott, co-founder of Texas Instruments and long-time friend and benefactor of MIT.



David Adjaye awarded 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
September 10, 2015

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