Architecture’s Labor Problem

Kate Wagner

The Nation

July 31, 2023


“It’s no mystery how Adjaye was able to fly under the radar for so long. Architects like him achieve nigh-mythical status as solo geniuses whose groundbreaking work changes the very shape of art, if not the world. It does not matter to the public that he is merely a synecdoche for his entire firm, Adjaye Associates, a company made up of hundreds of subordinate employees. Adjaye himself is the only one who receives public recognition for the work done by the army of laborers responsible for making architecture actually happen. When public focus rests on one man and erases architecture’s collective project, that man gets elevated to a level of power and influence that makes it harder and harder for victims to speak out.”