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On August 1-11, the Hip Hop Architecture Camp held their free virtual camp experience for 635 middle school and high school students. The students, representing underrepresented communities in 31 states and 3 countries, participated in design challenges in the areas of architecture, urban planning, fashion (shoe design), and music. As a 2020 Gold Sponsor, ULI Charlotte had 30 students participate from the Charlotte area and five member volunteers that helped facilitate break-out sessions at the conclusion of the design days.
Each design day featured special guests from the featured industry. Angela Yee, cohost of “The Breakfast Club,” the #1 hip hop radio show in the world, and who has a background in real estate development, helped kick off the architecture design challenge; Francois Nguyen, lead designer for Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, participated in the architecture challenge by describing the design process in depth; Wilson Smith, former architect and lead designer for the Jordan brand at Nike, lead the discussion for the fashion challenge by describing how he uses music and his background in architecture to design shoes.
At the culmination of the camp, the top 10 from each category were awarded prizes, including a one-week internship with an architecture firm to be held during winter break. The top 5 shoe designs will have Nike produce their shoe for personal wear. Musical artists Rob Dz and Destiny Da Chef selected the top 5 rap verses, and those winners will appear on a future episode of “The Breakfast Club.” Additionally, Florida A&M University offered the students the opportunity to win a full scholarship into their architecture program, and the Hip Hop Architecture Camp will pay their application fee.
The winners from Charlotte were Kalaura Jones, Cianna Brown, and Alvamir Jzar. Kaluara placed top 5 in the rap category for her business idea. Here is her The link to her YouTube submission can be found here; Cianna placed top 10 in the rap category for her business idea. The link to here submission can be found here. Alvamir, a returning camper from last year’s ULI Charlotte hosted camp, placed top 10 in the sneaker/ business design concept. His concept can be found here (link to document coming). ULI members Ashley Clark, LandDesign, Rob Johnson, Boomerang Design, Dave Stewart, NorthMarq, Erica Kennedy, ODA Architecture, and Julie Jackson, Gensler, volunteered for the camp.