Michael Ford, Assoc. AIA

Designer, director, & instructor

Michael Ford is recognized in the architecture and hip hop communities as a galvanizer and pioneer of a new era of architectural practitioners. Hear his thoughts on the future of the architecture profession during a unique Day 3 keynote panel, Anticipate Change: What’s Next for Architecture.

Known as “the Hip Hop Architect,” Michael is a Detroit designer who has dedicated his career to stimulating dialogue on the social and cultural impacts of architecture and urban planning. He earned his Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy, where he was also an adjunct professor. He worked as a designer at Hamilton Anderson Associates and Flad Architects.

Currently, Michael is an instructor at Madison College and the Director of BrandNu Design, where he’s leading the design of The Universal Hip Hop Museum in The Bronx. He’s also on the board of directors for the Detroit chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects, publishes research in a variety of venues, and lectures across the country including the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Connecting architecture & culture

Michael uses hip hop as a lens for examining the intersection of architecture and culture, including the structural racism that created the built environments from which hip hop culture sprang. Through the Universal Hip Hop Museum, his designs will showcase the art form’s focus on community and how its ethos can inspire new urban solutions—engaging architects, designers, and locals alike.

“I hope that the hip hop generation will champion this new vernacular, and rely on our love for hip hop coupled with our architectural knowledge, to build our communities and increase the number of minority practitioners.”

Keynote details

Michael shares the keynote stage with Nóra Demeter, Int’l. Assoc. AIA; Cheryl McAfee, FAIA; and moderator Frances Anderton on Day 3, right before Amy Cuddy’s presentation on the power of change. Don’t miss this exciting event on Saturday, April 29.

See this panel:
Saturday, 12:30pm, Hall C
Anticipate Need: What’s Next in Architecture




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