Adjaye Futures Lab

Venice, Italy

In the Central Pavilion of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, the Adjaye Futures Lab is conceived as an immersive audio-visual experience, defined by a 360 degrees screen, displaying nine projected channels. Suspended from the ceiling above, the film’s choreography of the channels provides a unique viewing experience for each of the exhibited films—at times independent of each other, and at times blending various or all channels together.    

Exhibited for the first time, The Lost Knowledge Systems (LKS) film — directed and produced by David Adjaye — is curated through the lens of four materials of the land: earth, timber, thatch, and stone. Through scripted narration, historical and contemporary imagery, and reproduction of archival drawings, LKS illustrates how the empires of pre-colonial Africa have their own architectural morphology, iconography, and construction methodology—each predicated on unique geographical, climatic, and cultural conditions.   

In dialogue with LKS, the Adjaye Futures Films documents eight thematically relevant projects, each at various stages of development, from concept to completion. These films provide a window into Adjaye’s ethos and design process, illuminating a type of architecture that emerges as an extension of our collective being, instead of as an obstruction or disruption to humanity. The selected projects are based on intercultural dialogue within a global setting. They each took shape through narratives that emerged outside of the dominant canons and collectively speak to notions of place-making, identity, memory and meaning as central to the design process.