It Happened Here: Hip Hop Architecture Camp

September 14, 2018 | Debbie

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This summer Toronto Public Library hosted its first ever Hip Hop Architecture Camp. Youth from across the city heard guest speakers and were paired with talented design professionals who volunteered to mentor participants. The camp was designed to introduce under-represented youth to architecture, urban planning, social issues and economic development through the lens of hip hop culture. 

The participants then brought everything they learned about design, rhythm, rhyme and city building to a rap battle. They also interpreted hip hop songs into Lego city designs and hit the recording studio. Amazing!

Participants came up with fun, creative and powerful ideas, all showcased in this original music video (above).


Listen to an interview on CBC Radio with the Camp's creator Michael Ford, who started teaching kids who love hip-hop that they can be architects too.


Inspired? Check out some of these upcoming library programs:

Young Voices Writing and Art Fest
Join us for a full day of writing and art with free workshops on topics including clay modelling, book binding, spoken word and more.
Sat Sep 29, 2018
9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
North York Central Library

Poetry Saved Our Lives
This poetry and spoken word series is returning to the library this fall. 
Various locations

The Great Library Festival Spoken Words: Hip Hop and Rap Writing
Mon Sep 17, 2018
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Learn how to be a DJ with Traktor
Wed Dec 19, 2018
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Already creating music? Record your next track or music video at one of our Audio and Video Studios, or use DJ equipment at a library with a Youth Hub.


A big thanks to all of the participants who came out to learn and create, as well as the wonderfully talented professional volunteers from the fields of architecture, music and design who gave their time to this project.