Who We Are

The Hip Hop Architect explores how hip hop lyrics provide an evaluation of modern urban architecture and some of the areas where it went wrong. Born and raised in Detroit, Michael Ford, The Hip Hop Architect, is the designer of The Universal Hip Hop Museum.

Michael Ford, Co-Founder

the hop hop architect

Michael Ford, NOMA, AIA Assoc. is a designer, born and raised in The City of Detroit. Ford received his Master 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. 

Ford 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. Ford is a national lecturer, with keynotes at The 2018 Interior Design Show in Toronto, 2017 American Institute of Architects National Confernce on Architecture and he keynoted the 2016 SXSW Eco Conference.  Ford's TEDx is titled Hip Hop Architecture: The Post Occupancy Evaluation of Modernism.  Ford’s Hip Hop Architecture research has been published in a variety of places including Fast Company Design, Blavity, The Fader, CityLab, Vibe Magazine, and NBC’s The TODAY Show. Along with these publications Ford has been a guest lecturer at several universities including the University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon University to name a few.. 

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 with the mission to increase the number of minorities in architecture and urban planning. Currently Ford is working with hip hop artists as he leads the programming and development of The Universal Hip Hop Museum in The Bronx.