Principal, BrandNu Design
Lecture: Saturday, September 19, 2015
10:30am - Lawrence J. Plym Auditorium, Temple Hoyne Buell Hall
Lecture Title: "LeCorbusier and Hip Hop Inspired Architecture"
Michael Ford is a designer, born and raised in the city of Detroit. Ford received his Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), where he completed his graduate thesis titled “Hip Hop Inspired Architecture and Design.” He has worked as a designer at Hamilton Anderson Associates located in Detroit, Mich. and as an adjunct professor at his alma matter. Ford has also worked as a designer at Flad Architects located in Madison, Wisc.
He has spent the past decade working to blur the lines between professional practice and academia. He is dedicated to stimulating cross disciplinary discourse between practitioners and residents on the sociological and cultural implications of architecture and urban planning on its inhabitants. More specifically, Ford has unveiled the subconscious roles of historical architectural figures such as LeCorbusier in envisioning the built environments which ultimately necessitated the birth of hip hop culture.
Using hip hop lyrics as a post occupancy report of urban America’s inhabitance of modernists’ visions, his mission is to bring the seldom told history of the systematic destruction of working-class and poor African American communities and the ensuing injustices to the forefront of discussion in academic spaces. Ultimately halting historical discourse on the acceptance of the urban ghetto’s existence solely based of the “cultural behaviors” of minority inhabitants, while exposing both the conscious and subconscious efforts to absolve the most powerful shapers of society, architects, from any responsibility.
Ford’s research is the topic of articles published in a variety of places including University of Pennsylvania’s annual Unspoken Borders Publication and Conference and Harvard University’s Journal of African American Policy. Along with these publications Ford is also a regular presenter at the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Annual Conferences and has been a guest lecturer at several universities including the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor , University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Syracuse University, University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Architecture and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.