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HomeModern House PlanSekou Cooke has gained accolades as a curator and theorist however sees...

Sekou Cooke has gained accolades as a curator and theorist however sees constructing as the perfect testbed


This text is a part of our sequence of profiles on the Architectural League of New York’s 2022 Rising Voices winners. The complete listing might be discovered right here.

Azra Akšamija and sekou cooke STUDIO will current on their respective work on March 31 at 6:30 P.M. and extra info might be discovered right here.

Sekou Cooke is greatest referred to as a curator and theorist of Hip Hop Structure, which he first encountered as a pupil at Cornell within the mid-Nineties. Two years earlier than Cooke began his undergrad research, Nate Williams had been turning the lecture corridor into a celebration area with a DJ stay mixing earlier than his shows. In 2014, whereas pursuing his grasp’s diploma at Harvard, Cooke printed a seminal essay known as “The Fifth Pillar: A Case for Hip Hop Structure” in The Harvard Journal of African American Planning Coverage.

“In that essay I used to be actually simply making an attempt to make a singular case for positioning structure throughout the realm of all of the hip hop parts and saying that it may be a viable product of hip hop tradition,” Cooke instructed AN. “It actually was purported to be a one-off factor, like, ‘okay I’m doing this, I’ve bought the concepts out of my head, it’s out, now I can transfer on with my life.’”

The world, nonetheless, had different plans for Cooke. ArchDaily picked up the essay, it garnered quite a lot of nationwide consideration, and shortly Cooke was listening to from others who had been writing concerning the subject. That correspondence led to a 2015 symposium at Syracuse College, the place Cooke was instructing. Subsequent got here Shut To The Edge: The Beginning of Hip Hop Structure, an exhibition that premiered on the AIANY Middle for Structure in 2018, and, most not too long ago, a guide titled Hip Hop Structure (Monograph 2021).

a graffiti covered wall
Syracuse Hip-Hop Headquarters (SHHHQ), Syracuse, New York, in progress. (Courtesy of sekou cooke STUDIO)

Right this moment, the Jamaican-born Cooke is the director of the city design program at UNC Charlotte and continues to run his eponymous studio, which he based in 2008. His notable constructed work contains the Eat To Stay Meals CO-OP (2013) in Syracuse, and Grids + Griots, a group area made out of a chopped up transport container that was initially commissioned for the 2021 Chicago Structure Biennial. Transferring ahead, Cooke stated he hopes to work for extra progressive, well-funded non-profits and transfer his initiatives via development, which he sees as the final word testbed for structure.

“I’m not a hip hop architect, I’m not even a Black architect, I’m an architect and primarily I need to determine as an architect” Cooke stated. “To me which means somebody who’s able to growing actually advanced concepts and getting them constructed and examined in the true world.”



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