In conversation: David Adjaye and Stella McCartney on the future of design

This weekend, London's Design Museum presents a special #DesignDispatch discussion between two creative greats

Black and white portrait images of Stella McCartney and Sir David Adjay, against a grey background
Stella McCartney and Sir David Adjaye
(Image credit: TBC)

London Design Museum's weekly #DesignDispatches series sees the museum's chief executive and director Tim Marlow in discussion with leading lights from the intersecting worlds of fashion, design and architecture. In this special edition, which you are able to watch on the museum's Instagram at 2pm on Saturday 16 May, Marlow moderates the conversation between architect Sir David Adjaye and fashion designer Stella McCartney.

Alongside inspiring insights into the two creative giant's careers, they discuss the similarities between their respective industries, how sustainability plays a central part in their ethos', and how technology is influencing both worlds. They also speak to the very prescient matter of how the architecture and fashion communities will respond to the Covid-19 world.

‘It's the first time in history that we're going be able to have geography lessons on this impact. And understand what the true impact is of the human on the planet and its resources,' says McCartney during the discussion, of the pandemic.

Outdoor picture of David Adjaye, captured during the day

David Adjaye – photographed for the February 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*203), when he was a Design Awards judge – pictured at his then soon-to-open Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. Photography: Stefan Ruiz

(Image credit: Stefan Ruiz)

The pairing of the two speakers is a clever one; it speaks to the intersection of their respective industries. ‘Exploring the interconnected nature of various areas of design as well as their differences is something that fascinates me, explains Marlow. ‘So the chance to bring Stella and David together and listen to their ensuing conversation was inspiring and revelatory. It reinforces the idea that design in its broadest and richest sense holds the key to so much of our collective future.'

The talk forms part of a lively digital programme from the Design Museum, which also features a design-minded home schooling course. Stella McCartney, too, is presenting collaborative work on its Instagram, where creatives from across the ‘StellaVision' network come together to share the ways to thrive and survive in this new reality.

LEFT: Black male model wearing a stripped formal shirt and brown mac from Stella McCartney's 2016 Menswear collection; RIGHT: A black male model wearing a black suit from Stella McCartney's 2016 Menswear collection

Stella McCartney’s debut menswear collection, as featured in the December 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*213). Photography: Chad Pickard

(Image credit: Chad Pickard)


Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.