At 50 years old, David Adjaye is regarded as one of the leading architects of his generation. If you needed any evidence of his success thus far, he was the lead designer of the newly established National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall of Washington, D.C. Adjaye has a knack for combining contemporary influences that are regionally sensitive for his projects, but seeing as this specific project for the Smithsonian Institute was particularly momentous, he had to be even more detailed to convey African heritage in the United States. Using three influences, Adjaye incorporated abstract versions of the "corona" shape of the building, an extension of the site dubbed "the porch," and the bronze envelope.

These innovative approaches are what placed Adjaye on TIME's "The 100 Most Influential People" list for 2017. Other architects, such as Bjarke Ingels, have been featured on it as well.

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