AD—WO, TextielLab | Ghebbi, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2023. Image credit: Claudia Rossini

The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices program spotlights North American architects, landscape architects, and urban designers who have significant bodies of realized work and the potential to influence their field.

Emanuel Admassu and Jen Wood of AD—WO won a 2024 award.

Emanuel Admassu and Jen Wood founded AD—WO in New York in 2018. Working at the intersection of art and architecture, the practice is rooted in Black studies, decoloniality, and conceptual art. Admassu and Wood’s installations, exhibitions, and built projects articulate, in their own words, “how architecture and art are implicated in ongoing struggles; redirecting spatial thinking against various forms of subjugation.” Located in galleries and educational and cultural institutions, the firm’s installations utilize tactical materiality and non-Western aesthetics to challenge architectural conventions.

Projects include:

  • 100 links, an installation for the Chicago Architecture Biennial that explores the historical commodification of land and seeks to unsettle dynamics of enclosure and dispossession 
  • Bole Rwanda, a six-story residential building in Addis Ababa featuring a ghebbi wall stretched to the height of the building
  • Ghebbi, an installation for the Venice Biennale that utilizes panels and monumental tapestries to create an immersive space

AD—WO received a 2024 United States Artists Fellowship, Architecture & Design, among many other awards. Works by the practice are held in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Emanuel Admassu earned a graduate certificate in advanced architectural research and a master’s of science in advanced architectural design from Columbia University GSAPP, where he is currently an assistant professor. 

Jen Wood holds a bachelor’s and master’s of architecture from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in advanced architectural design from Columbia GSAPP.


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