What I learned at Hip Hop Architecture Summer Camp

Forty middle and high school students from Prince George’s County and neighboring jurisdictions attended the Hip Hop Architecture Summer Camp at the Oxon Hill Branch Library. Hip Hop Architecture is a week-long introduction to the worlds of architecture and urban planning for students who are from communities that are historically underrepresented in these career fields.

Designed by architect Michael Ford, Hip Hop Architecture integrates concepts of music composition, literature analysis, engineering, history, and geography to help students better understand how they can reshape the physical landscapes in their communities. Architect Latrice Harrison worked with students to help them understand the history of Hip Hop and how music has been used for centuries to describe and understand place.

Prince George’s County Planning Department got in on the action and worked with students teaching them how to use CAD modeling systems and sharing their experiences as urban planners. By the end of the session, students had the opportunity to create a 3-D model of their own community; and studio-record a song and an accompanying music video. Two students who participated in the camp provided some of their thoughts of the camp.


My Experience at the Hip Hop Architecture Summer Camp


Summer 2018/Oxon Hill Public Library

My name is Reuben Walbrook and I will be going to the ninth-grade next year. I signed up for the Hip Hop Architecture Summer Camp at the Oxon Hill Public Library, because it was a chance for me to learn more about architecture since I want to become a mechanical and electrical engineer. Using the rhythms and lyrics of hip hop music helped me learn about architecture because the beat from the music gives me thoughts that I could use for a plan for structures or part of ideas.

I learned different facts about different rap artists, too! I also learned how to create a literary analysis to help me understand the song better and identify the rhythmic patterns. My favorite part of the camp was using Tinkercad to create structures for our “hip hop city” community. I definitely would recommend the Hip Hop Architecture Camp to a friend, my teachers from my school and middle school classmate Donovan Mauney because he loves listening to music.

I didn’t create a rap for the rap battle on Thursday because I do like listening to hip hop, not performing it. But other campers participated in a rap battle, and they rapped about why architecture is important. They also visited a recording studio that was their “show time.”  Architecture is important to our society because architecture is the structure of our daily life. Another reason architecture is important to society is because architecture brings out the creativity in the places we go -school, libraries, pools, malls and the buildings around us. I enjoyed the entire week! This concludes my thoughts on my experience of the Hip Hop Architecture Summer Camp.



MC Zee with Michael Ford, founder of Hip Hop Architecture

My Experience at the Hip Hop Architecture Summer Camp

By MC “Zee”

Summer 2018/Oxon Hill Public Library

My name is Zianna Hodges. My parents found out about the camp and signed me up to attend because of my interest in architecture. This program taught me how to use Legos to make a lyrical analysis. It’s when you take lyrics from a song and highlight the rhyming words in that song. It was cool to learn. My favorite part of the program was working on Tinkercad. It’s a 3D website that’s great for aspiring young architects, possibly myself. I would recommend this camp to my little brother because he likes hip hop and Legos. I believe architecture is important to our community because it gives us places to go, live, eat, and sleep. Hip Hop Architecture Camp was a great experience for me.



One thought on “What I learned at Hip Hop Architecture Summer Camp”

Leave a Reply to Misty Trunnell Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *