Azra Akšamija and sekou cooke STUDIO

Azra Akšamija and Sekou Cooke of sekou cooke STUDIO speak as part of the Emerging Voices series.

May 23, 2022

Recorded on March 31, 2022.

Azra Akšamija and sekou cooke STUDIO are 2022 Emerging Voices.

Azra Akšamija and sekou cooke STUDIO were two of the eight winners of the 2022 Emerging Voices competition, which recognizes North American designers with distinct voices and significant bodies of realized work. 

In this video, Azra Akšamija presents projects including Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp, T-Serai, and Memory Matrix. She addresses some of the central questions in her practice: What cultures get to be visible in public space? How can heritage preservation serve the healing of a community, instead of falling into empty symbolism, cultural appropriation, or nationalistic nostalgia? And, what do one-fits-all solutions to humanitarian aid miss? 

Re-mixing previous lectures, Sekou Cooke shares his recent book Hip-Hop Architecture, as well as projects including Grids + Griots, and The Syracuse Hip-Hop Headquarters (SHHHQ). His presentation expounds on the possibilities of Hip-Hop Architecture to humanize technology, open avenues for more meaningful interactions between people and buildings, and reformulate the architectural design process to incorporate more spontaneity. 

The presentations are followed by a conversation with Ersela Kripa, touching on disciplinary methods, improvisation and adaptation in architecture, and the future plans of both winners. Kripa is a founding partner of AGENCY, the director of the Texas Tech College of Architecture in El Paso.


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