Kunlé Adeyemi founded NLÉ in Amsterdam and Lagos in 2010, after over eight years at OMA. Raised in Kaduna, Nigeria, with an architect father who was constantly redesigning his childhood home, Adeyemi studied architecture in Lagos before getting an MArch II at Princeton, studying with Peter Eisenman. His work at OMA included pivotal roles in projects such as Lagos’ master plan and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Throughout his work, he focuses on issues of rapid urbanization and climate change in the Global South.
I spoke with Kunlé this past August, for his keynote presentation at the AIA Tennessee Convention in Chattanooga. We cover his work in wide breadth: how he focuses on cities’ relationships to water and infrastructure, quickly iterating projects like the Makoko Floating School prototypes in Lagos and at the Venice Biennale, and why he left OMA to start his own firm in the first place. Due to a technical glitch in the live recording, the episode starts about ten minutes into our conversation.