The ‘Cult of David’: More Former Employees of David Adjaye Allege They Were Overworked, Underpaid, and Victims of ‘Emotional Abuse’

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More former employees have come forward with complaints against the acclaimed Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, who in July became the subject of numerous sexual misconduct allegations.

“It was trickle-down emotional abuse,” Ngozi Olojede, who worked for Adjaye’s firm remotely for less than a year beginning in June 2020, told Artnet News.

“David would yell at and berate the people he found responsible for executing his vision,” she said. “Only senior leadership would be directly bullied by him, but they would offload that anxiety on the rest of us. And they behaved the way they did because of the example that was given them by David—you set up the company, it’s your name on the door.”

Working at the London office of Adjaye Associates meant being immersed in a “culture of bullying, oppression, and fear” built around the “cult of David,” a former worker, speaking anonymously, told the Architects’ Journal. “There was a reverential tone [towards Adjaye]… It was very messianic.”

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