As a young man growing up in Highland Park in Detroit, Michael Ford was steeped in hip-hop culture.
To Ford, the connections between hip-hop and architecture were obvious.
The genre was born in New York City, amongst huge high-rise buildings, tenements, and major expressways
“I basically have traced the birth of hip-hop culture to the impacts of that architecture on black and brown communities — so looking at the housing projects, the construction of expressways, and seeing how that architecture had a profound impact on black and brown communities which ultimately helped lay the foundation of what would necessitate the birth of hip-hop culture.” – Michael Ford
Now, Michael Ford is taking his concepts to Detroit, where he will teach students for free.
Ford, a Detroit native, has launched the Hip Hop Architecture Camp, which is being offered to middle school students for free.
The first camp was a success when it was hosted last year in Madison County, Wisconsin where Ford is currently based.
The students will learn various concepts, including the history of architecture, as well as urban planning, through the lens of hip-hop.
Michael Ford will also explain how architects have the ability to impact culture and whole societies’ destinies through the designs they create.
The students also exhibited their work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit while other students showcased raps they wrote about architecture.
Michael Ford is currently looking for volunteers for the next chance and you can learn more by about the Hip Hop Architecture Camp here.