DAVID ADJAYE

PUBLICNESS AS A CONDITION OF POTENTIALITY AND PAROCHIALISM: 8:40AM: N.16 7 DR: 9:00AM: E1 1BU

Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning, I leave my house on Osbaldeston Road in Stoke Newington N–16, turn right, then left down Casenove Road, past the Rabbi School and the Gujarati Muslim Centre, past the bearded Hassidic patriarchs, heads bent in conversation, past the Muslim youth talking about the new Nokia 770 to Stoke Newington High Street, where I enter the empty station, descend the stairs to take the 9:15am overground train to Whitechapel. I exit right, walk under the tunnel, bear right across the concrete playground with the red diagonal sculptures, and keep going until I reach Whitechapel High Street.

There I turn right again and enter Whitechapel tube; bound for platform 5 East London Line to New Cross for Goldsmiths College. This route, by sheer luck, has allowed me to witness the inauguration of David Adjaye’s Whitechapel Idea Store. For a long while, I became a human steadicam, staring at the partial volume of the West façade, the laminated green and blue glass panels that picked up, amplified, and projected the striped canopies of the High Street market stalls. Over time it became clear that the Idea Store was, and is, a very peculiar building; in fact it was nothing less than a new building type for London, a five storey block of libraries and classrooms, a crèche, a dance studio, and a cafe whose nearest relative might be Toyo Ito’s Mediatheque in Sendai, Japan.

adjaye_02_ret

What struck me, and what continues to provoke, was how quickly this new structure infiltrated itself into the Muslim vernacular of High Street. David Adjaye had designed an event that could contribute to the defiantly parochial complexity of everyday life. Adjaye’s singularity lies here: in creating spaces that allow for an engagement with the sociality of the urban, his buildings do not repair or rescue or regenerate publicness; rather, they find ways to infiltrate the condition of publicness with potentiality.

www.adjaye.com, www.ideastore.co.uk

 

Text by KODWO ESHUN, Photography JUERGEN TELLER

Related Content

  • AZZEDINE ALAÏA Loves Animals & Women

    Tunisian designer AZZEDINE ALAÏA speaks about the "wearable sexy" silhouette of modern women, fashion's one-way course to emptiness, time together, and the value of laughter. More
  • Deeper

  • ALL A DAT ALL A DAT: Rap Crew 67 Can Make Anything

    Members ASAP, Monkey, LD, Dimzy, Liquez, and SJ are branching out. “67 can release rizla,” says LD ahead of the UK drill collective’s appearance this weekend in Berlin. “Not everybody can do that. A lot of people are just rappers.”More
  • 032c Resist Collection

    032c Resist Pin

    €10
  • David Ostrowski Brings Bauhaus to Warsaw’s Galeria Wschód

    The painter David Ostrowski has been off the radar for the last few years. A former student of Albert Oehlen and graduate of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Ostrowski is best known for his large abstract paintings, which often include the use of spray cans and a formalistic approach to shape. Now he's back, with a new body of work and two shows – the first of which opens in Warsaw at the progressive gallery space Wschód this weekend.More
  • 032c WWB Collection

    032c WWB Rugby Shirt Black

    €115
    Buy Now
  • Anders Haal and Nicole Walker Imagine Total Fluidity on Humanity’s Next Planet

    The late Stephen Hawking was convinced that humanity's time on Earth was coming to a close, and proposed Proxima Centauri b as a second planetary home. The transition off-world is one subject in a new fashion book by stylist Nicole Walker and Anders Haal, founder of Stockholm-based fashion label HAAL, that considers the illogic of borders on a cosmic scale. Here we preview the book's opening visual essay.More
  • 032c WWB Collection

    032c WWB “Chevignon by 032c” Cosmo Jacket Green

    €480
    Buy Now