Emanuel Admassu (born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is a founding partner of AD-WO together with Jen Wood—a design practice based between Brooklyn and Providence, and, by extension, between Ethiopia and Australia. Admassu has more than five years of experience teaching in various programs at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Prior to joining RISD, he was a senior designer at MdeAS Architects, New York. Admassu is committed to research and has recently been examining the constructed identities of urban markets in East Africa.
Through his teaching, research and design practice, Admassu is engaged in investigating the opportunities and problems associated with the diasporic condition. AD-WO is engaged in projects throughout the world, most recently a residential development in Addis Ababa, a market and playscape in Stockholm and a community center in Sari-myeon. His current research project examines the notion of material as social construct by tracing the evolution of pre-modern brick construction within the Chinese and Persian Empires. Admassu is also actively pursuing collaborative projects with creative practices beyond the discipline of architecture. His most recent collaboration with animation artist Ezra Wube has been on display at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in an exhibition called South of the Sahara: Accelerated Urbanism in Africa and at The Studio Museum in Harlem in the exhibition Video Studio: Meeting Points.