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Faculty Member Craig Wilkins Awarded National Endowment for the Arts 2009 Access to Artistic Excellence for Studio:DetroitHS

Lecturer Dr. Craig Wilkins was awarded a $45,000 NEA Access to Artistic Excellence grant for 2009. His project, Studio:DetroitHS, is an integrated architectural exploration and community engagement program that will offer two sessions in the summer of 2010. The program introduces highly motivated high school students to the field of architecture, focusing on members of socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally under-represented in the field. It is a unique opportunity for interested Detroit area high school juniors and seniors to learn about and explore the possibilities of an architectural career while addressing community-based design concerns in the Detroit Metro area. The program is managed through UM’s Detroit Community Design Center.

Dr. Wilkins’ work in the areas of space, race and music culminated in his most recent publication The Aesthetics of Equity: Notes on race, space, architecture and music (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) winner of the prestigious 2008 Montaigne Medal for Best New Writing. His forthcoming book, Activist Architecture: A Field Guide to Community-Based Practice (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009) will focus on the philosophy and practice of community design centers.

He’s worked as a designer, project architect and urban designer in Washington, DC, New York, Houston and Minneapolis as well as served as a research fellow at the University of Minnesota, University of Illinois Chicago and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. He currently serves as the director of the Detroit Community Design Center at the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where he also teaching in both the architecture and urban planning departments.

Dr. Wilkins has written and lectured widely on a variety of topics, from hip hop architecture at the University of Michigan to the prospects of globalization on African spaces at the University of Witswatersrand. In addition, he has taught at several institutions including the University of Minnesota and the Southern University School of Architecture as well as served as a guest critic at City College in New York, Washington University in St. Louis, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, the University of Porto in Portugal and the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

He 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.