Hip Hop has established itself as a gravitas culture that crosses borders of race, ethnicity, class, religion and professions. Members of the hip hop generation carry the residue of the culture into all spaces they inhabit and their individual works are seasoned with its’ flavor. As professionals continue to argue the academic validity of hip hop and disseminate the social significance of rap, it is time architectural professionals learn the benefit the culture provides to its’ practitioners.
The following audio and related transcript is an excerpt from my lecture, Hip Hop Inspired Architecture, at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design on April 8, 2015. During the lecture I presented my project, Urban Renewal vs Urban Reality, which juxtaposes a series of hip hop music videos and architecture documentaries exhibiting The Golden Era of Hip Hop as a post occupancy report for inner city dwellers inhabitation of modernist visions.
On April 29, 2015 my DJ, Eryk "The Arch-E-Tech" Christian and I will deliver a lecture on Hip Hop Inspired Architecture at Madison College located in Madison Wisconsin. This lecture is a continuation of my current lecture tour, which has included an exhibit at the 2014 AIA Convention in Chicago Illinois, lectures at University of Detroit Mercy, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Syracuse University and Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Here is a list of the tracks, in order, from my most recent Hip Hop Architecture lectures and seminars. The lists range from old school classic hip hop to modern day rap. The use of the tracks not only provides a transition between topics as I make an argument for hip hop architecture, the tracks contextualizes the discussion points through lyrical references. It is my hope that the memory evoking power inherent in music will allow attendees recall discussion points from the presentation once its concluded.
This symposium explores a wide range of questions. Does hip-hop architecture, however it is defined, exist? If so, who are its practitioners? Is there an architectural image or a style that reflects hip-hop ideals? Is there a formal language or organizational structure that it should employ? Or is there a process and attitude towards design that will separate hip-hop from conventional architectural practice?