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Two masters reflect on how London's East End has impacted their practices and the relationship between art and architecture.

BY STEPHEN PULVIRENT

Last Friday night, we hosted Design Dialogues No. 26 at The Armory Show in New York City. Surface editor-in-chief Spencer Bailey welcomed architect David Adjaye and artist/filmmaker Isaac Julien to speak about their careers in East London, how their work deals with relationships between people and spaces, and the broader connections between art and architecture today.

Surface editor-in-chief Spencer Bailey talks to artist Isaac Julien and architect David Adjaye.(Photo: BFA/Surface)

Surface editor-in-chief Spencer Bailey talks to artist Isaac Julien and architect David Adjaye.(Photo: BFA/Surface)

It took little prompting to get Adjaye and Julien to delve deeply into their own philosophies of space and how it is a core concern for both of their work. It helped that the two know each other extremely well: not only do they both have studios in East London (where Julien is from), but the two also collaborated on designing Julien's studio itself and have known one another for years. Adjaye went on to express his love of Julien's work, especially his multi-screen film works such as the nine-screen Ten Thousand Waves (2010), saying they're almost an evolution of cubism projected into physical space. The talk wrapped up with a handful of audience questions and an opportunity for guests to chat one-on-one with Adjaye and Julien.

After the talk, a few dozen guests retired to Hôtel Americano for cocktails and a seated dinner with the Surface team and special guests including art dealer Jeffrey Dietch, fashion designer Yigal Azrouel, and artist Teresita Fernández.

Isaac Julien holds forth over dinner at Hôtel Americano. (Photo: BFA/Surface)

Isaac Julien holds forth over dinner at Hôtel Americano. (Photo: BFA/Surface)

Thank you to The Armory Show for hosting Design Dialogue No. 26 and to sponsors Hôtel Americano and Boodles Gin.