Recent work: The National Museum of African American History & Culture


The National Museum of African American History & Culture is the newest addition to the Smithsonian Institution. The museum, by lead designer David Adjaye and lead architect Philip Freelon, holds over 35,000 artifacts. It will open its doors on September 24 in the National Mall of Washington, D.C. Like the rest of the Smithsonian museums in D.C., it will be free.

Smithsonian magazine asked us to work on a simple interactive showcasing the building and explaining some of the major features and attractions visitors will encounter throughout the museum. Take a look!

We use vector illustration much more frequently that 3D, but this time we rendered the building using Lightwave and SketchUp in order to animate it and to show the intricate metalwork design of the corona’s 3,600 panels. The metalwork “pays homage to the unheralded ornamental ironworkers, slaves and freedmen who crafted the signature wrought iron of southern towns like Charleston, South Carolina, and New Orleans, Louisiana”. The external shape of the building, a three-tiered bronze trapezoid, wraps around the outside of the glass building. The design is inspired by a sculpture from the early 20th-century Yoruban artist Olowe of Ise that is also shown in the museum.

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