Skip to content

To the World 

Success knows no bounds for Pretoria-born architect, Sumayya Vally, who has most recently been named artistic director for the first Islamic Arts Biennale. Heavily influenced by her Muslim upbringing in South Africa, she aims to bring a different perspective to what defines Islamic art. Vally, who cites the city of Johannesburg as a heavy influence in all aspects of her career, is an architect and educator whose work is centred around narrative, identity and memory. The founder and principal of award-winning architecture firm Counterspace, she is the youngest-ever architect to design London’s Serpentine Pavilion, a 2021 Time magazine ‘100 Next’ honouree, the artistic director of the inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale, and now an honorary professor in the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London.

DESIGN INDABA