“Meanwhile, the Hip Hop Architecture Camps have also gone global. A coincidence resulted in Ford conducting a special Hip Hop Architecture Camp at the Samburu Girls Foundation in Loosuk, Maralal, in Kenya, during June 2018. He was conducting a workshop to design a teen space at a public library in Madison and needed to use a laser cutter. He remembered that there was one at the School of Human Ecology on the University of Wisconsin campus. While he was using the laser cutter the professor who let him use the tool mentioned that she was organizing a trip to help with the Samburu Girls Foundation, which rescues young girls from early marriage and female genital mutilation. Ford decided he wanted to join the trip to the foundation’s campus, which includes a school for 500 girls but not much else — yet.
“We were able to do a camp and allow the young girls to envision the campus,” says Ford. “We also were able to work with Zero Mass Water and give them access to fresh, clean drinking water.”
Through Ford’s ties to hip-hop artists Lupe Fiasco and Nikki Jean, he was able to connect the foundation with Zero Mass Water, which has a technology that extracts water vapor from the air to create clean drinking water on the spot. Where before the foundation had to have all its water delivered, now they can get some of their water from 40 of the company’s solar-powered water panels.
The trip to Kenya, while not originally part of the itinerary for the Hip Hop Architecture Camp, turned out to be an ideal means of putting its principles into action, according to Ford.”