New Architects 4: young hotshots raise their sights

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The latest survey of the UK’s top emerging practices reveals plenty of style and wit alongside a desire to prioritise diversity, the climate crisis and housing shortages over wealthy clients…

“I am a poster child,” says David Ogunmuyiwa, “for what you get if you invest in people’s education, healthcare and homes.” The son of immigrants, he grew up on the Aylesbury estate in south London, the often-vilified place that Tony Blair visited on the morning after his first election as prime minister, as the exemplar of the kind of blighted Britain that he was going to fix. But Ogunmuyiwa, inspired by seeing Richard Rogers’s Lloyd’s building across the river from his school, knew that he wanted to be an architect. Which, as the founder of the practice Architecture Doing Place, he now is.

“There are hundreds of me,” he continues, so he questions why he sees so few people like himself in his profession. He criticises the London borough of Hackney, which has a well-respected programme of building housing, but which in one of the most diverse areas of the country “has not employed anyone who looks like Stephen Lawrence” to design them (the particular significance of the murdered black teenager is that he was planning to become an architect at the time of his death in 1993).

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