Craig Wilkins, Lecturer in Architecture, has published an essay in the Avery Review, a monthly journal of critical essays on architecture published by Columbia University.
Wilkins — who received a 2017 National Design Award from Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum — is a hip-hop architectural theorist, architect, artist, academic, and activist. His creative practice specializes in engaging communities in collaborative and participatory design processes. His essay in the Avery Review, “Innervisions,” offers a critique of the Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice, designed by MASS Design Group.
The experiential monument, which opened in 2018 in Montgomery, AL, is the country’s first memorial dedicated to the legacies of Black Americans’ history with discrimination and terror experienced through racial segregation, lynching, and slavery. The memorial also explores the impacts of the presumptions of guilt and instances of police violence experienced by communities of color in the United States.
In “Innervisions,” Wilkins reflects on race, power, and space in the United States, investigating the way the histories of Black Americans are narrativized, remembered, and memorialized. “As the memorial and its companion museum make perfectly clear, the memorialized incidents of racial violence are not the isolated incidents so many work so desperately to believe,” wrote Wilkins, who will serve as the Belluschi Visiting Professor and a visiting fellow in design for spatial justice at the University of Oregon’s College of Design and School of Architecture and Environment for the winter 2020 term. “No, they are part of a legacy of indefensible, systemic brutality visited upon the Black body across the land that spans centuries.”
Read Wilkins’s full essay here.