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Hip Hop Architect Michael Ford to host Wisconsin Leadership Summit panel on diversity in design

Michel Ford, David Crowley, Kalvin Barrett, Mario Garcia Sierra, Annette Miller.

Michael Ford — better known as the hip-hop architect — will host a panel discussion on diversity in design and how the design of urban environments impacts communities on Thursday, October 21, the fourth day of the fourth annual Wisconsin Leadership Summit.

The all-online Summit is the state’s premier professional development, networking and community building event. Registration is open now at WisconsinLeadershipSummit.com.

Ford’s firm, BrandNu Design, focuses on community engagement, pre-development strategies, and capital campaigns for new developments. Michael Ford, AIA, NOMA is an architect born and raised in the city of Detroit. Ford received his Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), where he completed his graduate thesis titled “Hip Hop Inspired Architecture and Design.”

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. More specifically, Ford has unveiled the subconscious roles of historical architectural figures such as LeCorbusier in envisioning the built environments which necessitated the birth of hip hop culture.

Ford’s Hip Hop Architecture research has been published in a variety of places including FastCo Design, Blavity,  The Fader, CityLab and Vibe Magazine. Along with these publications Ford has been a guest lecturer at several universities including the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign, University of Detroit Mercy, UPenn and Carnegie Mellon University.

Michael Ford was invited to keynote the 2017 American Institute of Architects National Conference on Architecture and he delivered the keynote at 2016 SXSW Eco Conference in Austin, Texas. 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.

Joining Michael on the panel are:

  • Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley
  • Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett
  • EQT by Design founder and CEO Annette Miller
  • Madison Gas & Electric Community Services Manager Mario Garcia Sierra

The Wisconsin Leadership Summit will last five days and feature 25 panels on a range of issues, such as workplace diversity, education, health care, social justice and more. Registration is $49, with discount rates for nonprofit and government employees and students.