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Close to the Edge

Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture

“Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture” is an exhibition showcasing the works of design pioneers. The exhibition is now on view at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) through Jan. 29, 2023..

Hip-hop was established by the Black and Latino youth of New York’s South Bronx neighborhood in the early 1970s. Over the last five decades, hip-hop’s primary means of expression—deejaying, emceeing, b-boying and graffiti—have become globally recognized creative practices in their own right. Each has significantly impacted the urban environment.

Hip-hop architecture’s designers produce spaces, buildings and environments that translate hip-hop’s energy and spirit into built form.

Now three decades in the making, Hip-hop architecture is finally receiving widespread attention within the discipline of architecture. This is thanks to years of dedication to its principles by practitioners such as Sara Zewde, Ujijji Davis, James Garrett Jr., Craig L. Wilkins and this show’s curator, Sekou Cooke.

The exhibition includes work by thirty-four participants representing seven countries. Projects span across a variety of media and forms of expression, including façade studies, building designs and urban development proposals.

Combined, these projects reveal a collective vision for alternative forms of expression and practice and serve to formalize work created over the past 30 years into an emerging canon of Hip-Hop Architecture.


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