Ball State University - Architectural Competition meets Hip Hop

Chris Baker, a student at Ball State University and fellow member of NOMA, National Organization of Minority Architects teamed with Kyle Edwards and received an honorable mention in the Queens Way Connection: Elevating the Public Realm Competition. His inspiration for the design concept and programming organizing principles was hip hop, more specifically Nas' song "One Mic". The program was organized based on the a sonic investigation of "One Mic", and the lyrical content, which preaches positive rebellion against suppressive systems, rather cultural, social or economical. In Chris' case the limiting system was the physical site for the architectural competition. He describes it as rigid, nauseatingly rhythmic,  and linear.

The sonic investigation resulted involved the dissection the song through by use of wav files, which abstracted through the lens of a graffiti artist, and used to create programmatic spaces. The central spine of the program is an intertwining graffiti wall, based on the abstractions with program spaces flanking each side, filling in the spatial voids resulting from down beats within the music. This wall represents rebellion in a linear system, to achieve diverse programmatic spaces and increase spontaneous encounters amongst the constituents.

Congratulations, Chris Baker, on introducing your university to the concept of Hip Hop Inspired Architecture and Design. I wish you continued success in your academic career.