Hip Hop Architecture: Beyond Bricks and Mortar

Featuring Michael Ford
Wednesday, October 17, 7:00 p.m.
SAIC Ballroom
Second Floor, 112 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL
United States

Michael Ford is dedicated to stimulating cross disciplinary discourse between architectural practitioners, students and community members on the social and cultural implications of architecture on its inhabitants through lectures, workshops and exhibits. Ford’s Hip Hop Architecture Lecture Series, uses three interconnected realms - education, professional practice and media to expose the subconscious roles of celebrated modern architects and urban planners, such as Le Corbusier and Robert Moses, in the creation of the environments which necessitated hip hop’s birth. Ford’s multi-media lecture format, uses a combination of music videos and a live DJ to extract hip hop lyric samples as dialogue, commentary and counterpoints to popular architectural history and theory. The juxtaposition establishes golden era hip hop lyrics as a post occupancy evaluation of inner city residents’ inhabitance of modernists’ visions.

Michael Ford details architect Le Corbusier’s musings on African American culture, specifically the music, which suggested the culture’s intermingling with architecture would bolster the architecture profession. Ford’s lecture highlights the built and theoretical works of designers pursuing this synthesis. Among the projects shown are the collaborative works of iconic hip hop entertainers such as, Pharrell Williams, Ice Cube with various architects, designers and academic institutions around the world. Ford’s lecture concludes with his personal works including his design processes which converts Hip Hop elements into architectural elements, the inclusive design approach, “The Design Cypher” created to conceptualize The Universal Hip Hop Museum with pioneering Hip Hop artists, including Kurtis Blow and The Sugar Hill Gang and the international Hip Hop Architecture Camp he created, which has been featured on The TODAY Show. 

Michael Ford, Assoc. AIA, is known as The Hip Hop Architect as he explores architecture and urban planning through the lens of hip hop culture. Ford, is the creator of The Hip Hop Architecture Camp®, an international, award winning youth camp which uses Hip Hop Culture as a catalyst to increase diversity in architecture. Ford’s work has been featured in a variety of places including The TODAY Show, Rolling Stone Magazine, ESPN’s The Undefeated, and Vibe Magazine. Ford is also a highly regarded speaker with keynotes at The American Institute of Architects National Conference, South by Southwest Eco Conference, and a TEDx titled “Hip Hop Architecture as Modernism’s Post Occupancy Evaluation.”

46th Annual NOMA Conference, NOMA UNBOUNDED – The Convergence of a Legacy
Taking place in Chicago October 17th-21st, 2018 at the Palmer House Hotel.

AIA members may attend this lecture and earn one learning unit.