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


“Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture” explores the multidimensional influence of hip-hop on our urban fabric. Curated and designed by Sekou Cooke, and jointly presented by SoCalNOMA, the A+D Museum, and The Helms Bakery District, this dynamic exhibition dives into the rich and vibrant world of hip-hop, from its fundamental elements of emceeing, b-boying, and graffiti, to its influence on the world of design and architecture. The exhibition shows how hip-hop has been translated into the creation of innovative spaces and structures, effectively introducing a new narrative in architecture. The works on display include groundbreaking contributions from students, academics, and practitioners, ranging from experimental visualizations and innovative installations to façade studies and urban development proposals. Also on show: a wall newly graffitied by Los Angeles artist Prime. “Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture” is more than an exhibition. It’s a journey into a revolutionary design movement, revealing a shared vision for the future of architecture that’s deeply rooted in the core ethos of hip hop: identity, process, and aesthetics.“Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture” opens on June 22, with an opening reception on June 24 7:00pm – 10:00pm. It will be accompanied by talks and tours presented by SoCal NOMA / A+D Museum and Helms Bakery District. The exhibition is free and open to the public.Location: 8745 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232

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Location: Helms Design Center 8707 Washington Boulevard Culver City, CA 90232RSVP HereSekou Cooke is an architect, urban designer, researcher, and curator. Born in Jamaica and based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he is the Director of the Master of Urban Design program at UNC Charlotte, the 2021/2022 Nasir Jones HipHop Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, and a founding member of the Black Reconstruction Collective. Cooke is a leading advocate for the study and practice of Hip-Hop Architecture, which addresses the broad impacts of the racist history of architecture and urban planning, opening a pathway for practice, education, and scholarship that embraces architecture as a tool for shaping, reflecting, and understanding culture.

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