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Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye Relinquishes Roles after Accusations of sexual Misconduct

The prominent architect Sir David Adjaye has been accused of sexual misconduct by three former employees. The claims were reported first by the Financial Times, in which the three women accuse Adjaye and his firm, Adjaye Associates, of “different forms of exploitation — from alleged sexual assault and sexual harassment by him to a toxic work culture — that have gone unchecked for years.”

David Adjaye

Two of the women, who the FT calls Gene and Maya, met Adjaye in September 2018 in Accra, where they had moved to set up the Ghana office for Adjaye's studio, Adjaye Associates.

They allege that after a dinner, at which they had hoped to speak to Adjaye about problems in connection with the Accra office, they went to Adjaye's corporate apartment where he sexually harassed and assaulted them.

Third woman alleges "controlling and emotionally abusive sexual encounters"

Mr. Adjaye, who has offices in London, New York and Accra, Ghana, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2017, , Adjaye has stepped back from some of his public roles, such as his architectural adviser position to the mayor of London. His work on the UK Holocaust Memorial has also been suspended pending an investigation. The New York Times reported that some of his clients and collaborators have expressed concern and disappointment over the allegations, while others have reaffirmed their support for him.

Rendering of the National Cathedral of Ghana, designed by Mr. Adjaye.Credit...Adjaye Associates

While these allegations against Adjaye have sparked a debate about the power dynamics and gender issues in the architecture industry, which has been historically dominated by men, many have called for more accountability and transparency in the profession, while others have warned against rushing to judgment without due process. In the end, what matters is justice and it is a collective hope that it will prevail in this case.

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Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye Relinquishes Roles after Accusations of sexual Misconduct

July 3, 2023

Art Report Africa

2 min read

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