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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Hip-Hop Culture emerged in the early 1970s from Black and Latinx youth living in the South Bronx. At the time, the Bronx was stereotyped as the nation’s iconic “ghetto”. However, as in many of the nation’s cities, the built environment that defined the Bronx was a product of ghettoization that marginalized African Americans through confinement and overcrowding of urban centers; exclusions from mortgage loans and home ownership; and the redistribution of resources.

Hip-Hop Culture allowed marginalized communities to reclaim the built environment through repurpose of space and found materials; it creates opportunities for self-sufficiency; and establishes a community around the ethos of peace, love and having fun that mitigated street violence.

As the research makes palpable the impact the built environment has had on Black and Latinx communities, my intent is to turn the table and illustrate how the defining elements of Hip-Hop Culture can influence a design rooted in equity and social justice through the proposal of a Hip-Hop Youth Center in Springfield, Massachusetts; a facility that supports underserved youth in their creative endeavors and entrepreneurship.


First Advisor

Erika H. Zekos

Second Advisor

Joseph B. Krupczynski

Included in

Architecture Commons