A Week of Learning and Fun for the Youth of Memphis
The first Hip Hop Architecture Camp to be held in Memphis has wrapped up after a week of celebration and excitement. With appearances from local design professionals and top hip hop artists including NLE Choppa, Al Kapone, Tonya Dyson, Big30, and Chefry Kitchen, the camp was a vibrant exploration into the fields of architecture, urban planning and design for Memphis youth in attendance.
This year being the camp’s debut within the Memphis community, Material Bank, the world’s largest marketplace for architectural, design & construction materials, and The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), which focuses on the economic, cultural, and governmental core of Downtown Memphis, co-sponsored the event, enabling 40 campers in the Memphis area to attend the camp free of charge.
“A downtown for everyone must be created by everyone. Too often, the people designing and building our cities and neighborhoods don’t reflect the full diversity of a community. The DMC sees the Hip Hop Architecture Camp as a great opportunity to invest in local kids and plant seeds of interest in a profession that may not yet be on their radar as a career option,” said Brett Roler, SVP Planning & Development, Downtown Memphis Commission.
“Architecture is a direct way to have a positive and meaningful impact on the world around us. Everyone has something to offer when it comes to building the kind of Memphis that we all want and deserve.”
More on This Year’s Hip Hop Architecture Camp
Created in 2016 by architect Michael Ford, the camp is a one-week intensive experience, designed to introduce underrepresented youth to building design and urban development concepts through the lens of hip-hop culture. Based on the “4C’s” (Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Critical Thinking) the camp pairs students with architects, urban planners, designers, community activists and hip-hop artists to create unique visions for their communities. Students create physical models, digital models and even a Hip Hop Architecture track and music video summarizing their designs.
In support of the non-profit, Material Bank provided its Memphis-based distribution facility this year as a filming location for the beloved music video while also encouraging its staff to volunteer at the camp.
“We are so thrilled to be involved in this incredible opportunity to introduce our passion for design and innovation to Memphis youth through the Hip Hop Architecture Camp,” Rebecca Best, VP of Sustainability at Material Bank.
“It is fulfilling to help build awareness for this incredible profession that has the power to change lives, and we could not be more grateful for the chance to give back to a community that we are a part of, alongside the Downtown Memphis Commission.”