Sumayya Vally, Founder and Director of Counterspace

Published on17 DEC 2021

Sumayya Vally, founder and director of Counterspace, discusses her upbringing in Johannesburg, her focus on collaboration and inclusivity, and the inspiration behind her 2021 Serpentine Pavilion design. 

On her childhood in Johannesburg: “The energy of apartheid falling and of the new South Africa was also very much in everything around us. And so, you know, political organizing and the rush of optimism that came around that time is also something that I got to experience alongside, of course, having to experience structures that are still very much ingrained and embedded even now.”

On the role of architecture in convening communities: “Most places in the world are designed to be really segregated. And I think being able to understand that should push us to understand the opposite. That architecture can also be a force for good and for bringing people together.” 


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This episode was recorded on September 2, 2021.

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