Posted: 11 February 2019     |     Author: Prof Lesley Lokko
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Sir David Adjaye. © Open Source

The Design Museum in London has launched an exhibition examining the role of monuments and memorials in the 21st century, and it features seven projects by the British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye, including a glimpse of some that have yet to be built. The exhibition called Making Memory sets out to show that contemporary monuments are no longer “static” objects – such as plaques, statues or neo-classical sculptures – but dynamic and complex spaces created to serve a wider purpose.  Exemplifying that idea will be projects by Adjaye such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, the new National Cathedral of Ghana in Accra and the proposed UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in London. “The monument is no longer a representation, it is an experience of time and place that is available to everyone,” said Adjaye. “Whether it’s for a nation, a race, a community, or a person, it is really used as a device to talk about the many things facing people across the planet.” The show offers a visual survey of monuments and memorials throughout history, beginning with the Acropolis of Athens (447 BC) and continuing through to the 2018 Millicent Fawcett statue by Gillian Wearing in London. Prof Lesley Lokko and Dean Federico Freschi were invited to the opening.