MIT Awards Architect David Adjaye $100K for 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT

Cambridge, MA, USA, September 9, 2015 -- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is pleased to announce that architect David Adjaye OBE is the recipient of the 2016 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. The $100K 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 events 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.  

David Adjaye

David Adjaye

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 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 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 and 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 US, and our Cambridge campus, which celebrates its centennial this year, is home to significant buildings by stellar architects, including 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.

2016 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