Sumayya Vally

Portret Sumayya Vally Lou Jasmine
© Lou Jasmine

Sumayya Vally (b. 1990, Laudium, ZA) lives and works in Johannesburg. In her design, research and pedagogical practice, Vally searches for expression for hybrid identities and territory, particularly for African and Islamic conditions – both rooted and diasporic.

The practice occupies a space between the functional and the speculative; pedagogy and praxis; simultaneously describing cities and their histories and futures, and imagining them.

A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and TIME100 Next list honouree, Vally has been identified as someone who will shape the future of architectural practice and the canon. She is the youngest architect commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion in London (2021), was the artistic director of the inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah (2023) and serves on several boards, including the World Monuments Fund. She has been awarded Honorary Professorship from UCL, and a gold medal from the RAIC.

About the location

On the Minnewater, from the bridge at the Poertoren, the work of Sumayya Vally immediately catches the eye.

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