Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

22 September 2021 — 2 January 2022

Under the theme of ‘Reclaiming Magic’, this year‘s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is expanding the conventional notion of art.

With over 1,300 works selected by coordinator Yinka Shonibare, exhibition situates pan-African and non-academic artistic excellence in the heart of a British, cultural institution.


The Architecture Room, curated by Sir David Adjaye RA, considers architecture through the expression of ‘Climate and Geography (or vice versa)’ focusing on the context of site, geography, climate, political climate, people, community and culture.

Royal Academician architects featured include Farshid Moussavi, Richard Rogers and Caruso St John, and invited architects include Sean Canty, Counterspace and Atelier Masomi. As part of the sound programme, Peter Adjaye has created a ‘soundtrack’ for the Architecture Room.

In his statement, Sir David Adjaye wrote “As architects and designers, we tend to see climate and geography as forces to be contended with, to be adapted to, but in truth these are flexible forces. Climate and geography create a set of progressively changing physical and societal conditions, and it is in these conditions that architecture – regardless of its philosophical origins – has to take its place and adapt its identity. What can it accomplish when it effectively and sensitively responds to a situation – and to the planet – at a certain moment?”

You can find a Study of London/Serpentine Pavilion 2020/1 by Sumayya Vally, Counterspace, as part of the Architecture Room.

The 20th Serpentine Pavilion, open until 17 October 2021, is based on past and present places of meeting, organising and belonging across several London neighbourhoods significant to diasporic and cross-cultural communities, including Brixton, Hoxton, Tower Hamlets, Edgware Road, Barking and Dagenham and Peckham, among others. The forms in the Pavilion are a result of abstracting, superimposing and splicing architectural elements, vaping in scales of intimacy, translating into the Pavilions structure in Kensington Gardens.