Craig Wilkins is an associate professor of architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. A recipient of the 2017 National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Wilkins is a hip-hop architectural theorist, architect, artist, academic, and activist. His creative practice specializes in engaging communities in collaborative and participatory design processes.
The former director of the Detroit Community Design Center, he currently is creative director of the Wilkins Project, a social justice and strategic design alliance that provides architectural, urban design and planning services, public interest design solutions, and expertise in engaged public discourse. His practice includes both written and built work. 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, Wilkins’s 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 often-ignored practitioners of color. 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 The Detroit News, among others. He is a recipient of a 2008 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Collaborative Practice Award and a 2010 Kresge Fellow, and is the winner of the 2015 “Dear Architecture” International Ideas Competition sponsored by Blank Space. Wilkins also has authored the award-winning The Aesthetics of Equity: Notes on Race, Space, Architecture, and Music (University of Minnesota, 2007), Ruffneck Constructivist (Dancing Foxes Press/ICA, 2014), and Diversity Among Architects: From Margin to Center (Routledge, 2016), and co-edited Activist Architecture: A Field Guide to Community-Based Practice (DCDC Publications, 2015).
Wilkins received his PhD from the University of Minnesota, his Master of Science in real estate and urban development from Columbia University, and his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Detroit.