On February 20, 2014, I was invited by Dr Shawn Peters to be a guest lecturer at The University of Wisconsin Madison, in the Integrated Liberal Studies program. His course, titled "Remix and Appropriation in Western Tradition" #uwremix, is an interdisciplinary humanities course that explores traditions of remix and appropriation in a number of cultural and technological forms, including literature, art, architecture, film, and music. Special attention is paid to how inherently combinatorial practices spark innovation and creativity. Dr. Peters is an inspiring instructor and author, his cross disciplinary approach to rigorously investigating controversial social and political ramifications of various professions is amazing. His course on the the drama series, "The Wire" received great reviews from the students, he even used one of my favorite books, Jay Z's "Decoded" as a course text book.
I took the UW students on an architectural journey which allowed them to discover how the notion of remixing and re-appropriating architectural theories and visions resulted in the unintentional creation of the physical, sociological, political and economical environments which not only prompted, but also predicted the birth of hip hop culture. I must note that these were not architectural students, the attendees represented a broad swath of academic programs offered at University of Wisconsin. A number of them are a part of University of Wisconsin's First Wave program, the largest publicly funded hip hop arts program at any institution in the nation. A full-tuition First Wave scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is named after the legendary pioneer for women in hip-hop, MC Lyte! She is an avid supporter of the program, she announced the first scholarship recipient at the BET Awards Show.
Just as I challenged the students in the course, I now challenge you. Can you name all of the individuals and items in my promotional poster below? Do you know how each of them are linked and are responsible for the creation of this cultural phenomenon we call hip hop?
After receiving a ton of feedback from the students, who were extremely inspired by the presentation, Dr Peters insisted that I returned to give his students more exposure to my research. I did that plus a little more on March 27, 2014.
A blog post including photos summarizing my introduction of UW Madison to Hip Hop Inspired Architecture and Design is coming this weekend.