Sekou Cooke

Sekou Cooke is an American-Jamaican architect, author and educator, and is associated with the style of Hip-hop architecture. He is the Director of the Master in Urban Design program at UNC Charlotte[1] and principal of Sekou Cooke Studio. Cooke is one of the founding members of the Black Reconstruction Collective.[2]

American-Jamaican Hip-hop architect
Sekou Cooke
Born
Education
Occupation Architect

. . . Sekou Cooke . . .

Cooke was born and raised in Jamaica and received a B.Arch from Cornell University and a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard Graduate School of Design.[3] He is a licensed architect in the State of New York.[citation needed] Prior to his tenure at UNC Charlotte he was an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Syracuse University.[3]

Cooke received a Faculty Design Award in 2020 by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) [4] and a Graham Foundation Award in 2018 for his project ‘Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture’.[5] He is the recipient of the 2017 Architectural League Prize.[6] In 2021 he was named the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute fellow. The fellowship is awarded by the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.[7]

Cooke is the author of the book ‘Hip-Hop Architecture‘ published by Bloomsbury in 2021.[8] His book references the impact of hip-hop culture on the discipline of architecture and the built environment. The content formalizes a close reading of existing and historic design paradigms within creative fields and its impact on underrepresented and black communities.[9] His body of work was shown during a solo exhibition at the Center for Architecture in New York in 2018.[10]

Cooke’s selected work is part of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and was included in the 2021 ‘Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America’ exhibition alongside Walter Hood, Germane Barnes, V.Mitch McEwen, Emanuel Admassu and others. It was the first exhibition in the history of MoMA featuring only African-American designers, artists and architects. His project ‘We Outchea: Hip Hop Fabrications and Public Space’, examined and highlighted the historic demolition of African-American communities by former city planners of Syracuse, NY.[11]

In 2020, Cooke was invited alongside Refik Anadol and Rael San Fratello to envision a memorial for the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooke’s proposal named ‘Unmonument‘ was a theoretical approach shifting the notion of a static monument toward the application of in-flux processes instead.[12]

In 2021, he was part of a new pilot program created by the City of Los Angeles to design Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). Initiated by L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, the program asked a group of selected architects to envision and design housing units to tackle the cities rising needs for affordable housing while enhancing the city’s architectural design ambitions.[13][14]

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. . . Sekou Cooke . . .