Hidden In Plain Site - Episode Seven - "Limitless" - Mike FordMichael Ford, the "Hip-Hop Architect,” is an architect, designer, educator, and keynote speaker. He was born and raised in Highland Park, Michigan, a city within Detroit, and is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy. Mike is founder of both BrandNu Design, a full-service architecture, design, and research firm and The Hip Hop Architecture Camp®, a week-long intensive experience designed to empower underrepresented youth to explore and excel in the fields of architecture, urban planning, and creative placemaking through the lens of hip hop culture.
International Women's Day: Salute to Lynda Haith, Michigan's First Black Woman ArchitectLynda Haith - the first Black woman to graduate from Lawrence Technological University and the first Black woman to be licensed an Architect in Michigan - received the 2021 Gold Medal by the Grand Rapids chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Gold Medal is the highest honor AIA bestows, recognizing those who've had a lasting influence on the profession.
When we (Saundra Little, FAIA and Karen A.D. Burton) were dreaming of becoming Architects and planning our education and careers, we never imaged that there were so few African American women who'd traveled similar paths.
Architecture Legends and the Importance of Nathan Johnson (1925 - 2021)
Nathan Johnson has rockstar status with us. Saundra and I started our Noir Design Parti project in 2016 to research the history and chronicle the work of Black Architects in Detroit. Mr. Johnson was the last living of our then list of nine Trailblazers – the first generation of Black Architects licensed to practice in Michigan.
His love for modern architecture came from his internal fight against colonial architecture's history of oppression of Black Americans in the South. He designed over 30 churches in the mid-century modern style across metro Detroit.
Hidden In Plain SiteNever in our wildest dreams did we think we'd end up here. We both love architecture and enjoy the camaraderie with architects and designers. "I don't know any Black architects," we'd hear people say. Making the invisible visible became our mission.