MOD Media Productions

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Michael Ford, Assoc. AIA, is working on multiple fronts to diversify everything from the design pipeline to the built environment and the furnishings within. In 2016, Ford founded the Hip Hop Architecture Camp, which has introduced thousands of underserved middle- and high-school students nationwide to design and planning “through the lens of hip hop culture.”

In this episode, the architectural designer, artist, educator, and entrepreneur describes the relationship between hip hop culture, Modernism, and Le Corbusier, and announces several initiatives in achieving his vision of a just environment, including: the pros and cons of turning the 2020 Hip Hop Architecture Camp into a virtual experience (6:36); a mural he recently completed for the city of Madison, Wis., where he is based, to support local Black residents and recent civil unrest (12:51); and a new collaboration with Herman Miller that will add a storied chapter to what happens when modern furniture meets hip hop (16:12).

Episode 55: Michael Ford on the Intersection of Hip Hop, Activism, and Architecture, featuring architectural designer, artist, and Hip Hop Architecture Camp founder Michael Ford, Assoc. AIA, is also available on SoundCloud, iTunes, and GooglePlay.

Michael Ford and his family in front of his mural "526 Missed Opportunities," in Madison, Wis.
Anthony Cooper/It's Possible Michael Ford and his family in front of his mural "526 Missed Opportunities," in Madison, Wis.

Show Notes

The relationship between hip hop culture and Modernism was the subject of his 2017 TEDxTalk "Hip Hop Architecture: The Post Occupancy Report of Modernism."

Ford calls out the 2018 Chicago iteration of the Hip Hop Architecture Camp, where students crafted the lyric: "Build the 'hood up, put the guns down."

Ford and his team documented the creation of the mural in Madison, Wis., discussed in this podcast episode.

Organizations promoting diversity and equity in design named by Ford in this episode:

This podcast episode was produced by Wanda Lau and Rob Grauert.