On a mild afternoon in Washington, D.C., a makeshift stage has formed in the entryway of the District Architecture Center. Middle-schooler Iyana Benjamin adjusts the arms of her gold-rimmed, circular glasses from beneath a gray beanie and smiles as she looks up from her notebook and out to a few rows of folding chairs, accommodating nine other kids and a few adults. A beat emanating from a nearby laptop breaks the silence, and Benjamin begins to rap. She raps in a matter-of-fact yet firm tone on topics that are well beyond her years, from the swift gentrification of her neighborhood to the overshadowed African American architectswho first built it.Read More
Huge thanks to Complex for covering The Hip Hop Architecture Design Cypher I hosted at Autodesk in San Francisco back in February 2018. The Design Cypher is based on the curriculum of The Hip Hop Architecture Camp® and challenged some of the top lyricists in hop hop to join some of the top young design minds in architecture to come together and create designs in a fast paced, cross disciplinary environment. The artist included Lupe Fiasco, ChinoXL, Daylty and Nikki Jean, architects and designers included Michael Ford, (The Hip Hop Architect), Eryk Christian, Bryan C Lee Jr, Jason Pugh, Pascale Sablan, and Julia Weatherspoon.
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I’m happy to announce that I am one of “Grist 50 Fixers”. I was selected from over 1000 creatives who were nominated by peers. “Each year, the environmental news site Grist makes a list of 50 innovators working on creative and ambitious solutions to challenges like climate change. “There’s a lot of bad news these days, and I think we’re really intentionally trying to tell stories about what’s possible,” says Andrew Simon, director of content at Grist. Here are a handful of the “fixers” in this year’s edition of the Grist 50”Read More
ARCHITECT captured a snippet of the experience firsthand when HHAC founder Michael Ford brought the camp to Washington, D.C., last week.Read More
In Feb. 2017, the city of Madison, Wis., was developing its comprehensive plan. Michael Ford noticed that the plan, which projects 20 years into the future, had no input from young people.
“You have these planning meetings and it’s the same people in the room,” says Ford. “We were looking 20 years into the future, we have young people who are going to inherit that plan while they are in their prime. They should be at the table talking about it.”
So he pitched the office of Mayor Paul Soglin. The way that the meetings were set up right now, he told the mayor’s office, it’s not interesting to young people. But he had a “crazy idea to do something with hip-hop.”Read More