Michael Ford

The Hip Hop Architect
Urban Arts Collective

Michael Ford is a designer based in Madison Wisconsin by way of Detroit. He is the co-founder and co-director of The Urban Arts Collective.

Ford has spent the past decade working to blur the lines between professional practice and community engagement. 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. Ford has created a new approach to architecture, "The Design Cypher" where participants explore hip hop as a revolutionary approach to understanding, conceiving, and generating architecture for a just city. This approach was used by pioneering hip hop artists including Kurtis Blow to conceive The Universal Hip Hop Museum in The Bronx.

Michael Ford’s Hip Hop Architecture research has appeared on NBC's TODAY Show and his work has been published in a variety of places including Business Insider, Fast Company Design, Blavity, The Fader, CityLab, Vibe Magazine, and Architect Magazine.

Michael Ford is an international keynote speaker and has delivered keynotes at a number of conferences including The 2017 American Institute of Architects National Conference on Architecture where Michelle Obama was one of the other keynotes, The 2016 SXSW Eco Conference, and delivered a TEDx on Hip Hop Architecture.

Through his years of research, publications, and lectures, Michael Ford is recognized in the architectural and hip hop communities as a galvanizer and pioneer of a new era of architectural practitioners. Ford is also a Co-Founder of The Urban Arts Collective, where he created and conducts The Hip Hop Architecture Camp™ an award winning, international initiative with the mission to increase the number of minorities in architecture and urban planning.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.