A 2017 Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum National Design Award winner and Hip Hop architectural theorist, architect, artist, academic and activist Dr. Craig L. Wilkins’ creative practice specializes in engaging communities in collaborative and participatory design processes. The former director of the Detroit Community Design Center, he is currently creative director of The Wilkins Project, a social justice, strategic design alliance that provides architectural, urban design and planning services, public interest design solutions, and expertise in engaged public discourse.
As creative director of the Wilkins project, his practice includes both written and built work. Dr. Wilkins is particularly interested in the field of Public Interest Design and the production of various forms of space; understanding publically accessible and responsive design can radically transform the trajectory of lives and environments, especially for those on the margins of society. Awarded the 2014 A’ Design International Competition Silver Award for Social Design, his designs have been featured in such publications as the Washington Post, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, The Atlantic and Fast Company. A leading scholar of African Americans in the field of architecture, his books, essays, articles, and public talks explore the rich social, cultural, political, historical and aesthetic contributions of oft-ignored practitioners of color with the kind of broad, critical and celebratory insight that comes from over 3 decades of personal, professorial, and professional experience. His essays have been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, International Review of African American Art, Art South Africa, Volume, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Detroit News among others. A recipient of a 2008 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture's Collaborative Practice Award, a 2010 Kresge Fellow, and winner of the 2015 “Dear Architecture” International Ideas Competition sponsored by Blank Space, Dr. Wilkins is also the author of multi-award winning “The Aesthetics of Equity: Notes on Race, Space, Architecture & Music” (University of Minnesota 2007) as well as “Ruffneck Constructivist” (Dancing Foxes Press/ICA 2014), “Diversity Among Architects: From Margin to Center” (Routledge 2016) and co-editor of “Activist Architecture: A Field Guide to Community-Based Practice” (DCDC Publications 2015).
Dr. Wilkins received his doctorate at the University of Minnesota, his masters at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and his bachelors from the University of Detroit School of Architecture.