The College of Built Environments, in partnership with AIA Seattle, the AIAS Diversity Roundtable, NOMA NW, and NAIOPWA brought The Hip Hop Architecture Camp™ to Seattle in August 2019.

The Hip Hop Architecture Camp™ is a one-week intensive experience for 5th – 8th grade students, designed to introduce under-represented communities to architecture, urban planning, creative place-making, and economic development through the lens of hip hop culture. Camp is based on the “4C’s” of hip hop culture-Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking. During camp, students are paired with architects, urban planners, designers, community activists, and hip hop artists to create unique visions for their communities and a just city. Projects include the creation of physical models, digital models, and the production of a hip hop track and music video summarizing their designs.

Participants participate in an architectural design competition and a rap battle winning awesome prizes including Beats by Dre headphones and a Google Chrome Book. Camp concludes with the production of a music video featuring camp participants and a reception showcasing student Hip Hop Architecture design concepts.

2019 Camp Reflections & Testimonials

“We had no idea what to expect when we applied for the Hip Hop Architecture Camp. Hazel loves music and visual art so we thought, why not?! What a pleasant surprise! HHAC was a rich development opportunity for Hazel to express herself creatively, learn about how architecture can change communities, and push herself to think critically about the shape of her own community. HHAC opened up a new world of possibility for her. What’s more, she made so many new friends and allies and mentors and boosted her confidence. The Hip Hop Architecture Camp is a brilliant program that every young person living in or near an urban center should experience.”

“For me the biggest takeaways were the enthusiasm the kids had for the activities and their support and respect for one another. A lot of the kids were from separate schools but by the end of the camp it seemed like they were very close. This camp did a great job of creating a consolidated architectural studio environment. It was great to see the professional and student volunteers be able to relate to the younger students differently but eagerly and compassionately. It lead to a cross pollination of experiences and learning opportunities for all in involved.”
–Leon Holloway |AIA | LEED AP+ | NCARB | NOMA
DLR Group

“A big take-away for me was the camaraderie that was developed by the kids over the week and the huge amount support that they showed each other at the awards party.  It seemed evident that the HHA camp process, even with the individual assignments and competition, fostered collaboration and team spirit.”
–Meredith Everist | AIA | LEED AP BD+C
Baylis Architects

2019 Seattle Sponsors

  • NBBJ
  • NAIOP Washington
  • Lyft
  • AIA Seattle
  • AIAS Diversity Roundtable
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital Odessa Brown Clinic
  • Weber Thompson
  • Gensler
  • FSi Consulting Engineers
  • Baylis Architects
  • Perkins + Will
  • UW Department of Architecture
  • UW Department of Construction Management

Camp Partners and Advisory Committee

Seattle HHAC thanks the organizational support from the camp advisory committee members: Crystal Day – NBBJ,  Meredith Everest – Baylis Architects, Susan Frieson – Weber Thompson, Leon Holloway – DLR Group, Margaret Knight – Schemata Workshop, Whitney Lewis – AIA Seattle, Gregory Swinton – NBBJ, Mark Washington – Eastdil Secured), and Jaidee Weber – JWA.

60+ professionals volunteered their time over the course of the week representing the construction, architecture, children’s health, hip hop, real estate, and planning industries.