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CURRY HACKETT

Wayside Studio

SAY IT LOUD - WASHINGTON DC Exhibitor
Washington DC Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?
 
I take a lot of inspiration from the way plants form communities to shape landscapes, the collective possibilities offered in jazz improvisation, and many of my colleague's approaches to practice.

CURRY HACKETT

Bio:

The great designer, Curry Hackett is a transdisciplinary designer and educator. His practice, Wayside Studio, collaborates with communities and organizations to engage matters pertaining to culture, infrastructure, ecology, and the public realm. Noteworthy work includes the Howard Theatre Walk of Fame, the DC High Water Mark system, and his ongoing research project Drylongso, which explores relationships between Blackness and land. Currently, Hackett is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Howard University.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

My mother is an art teacher, my father is an engineer, and my uncle is a carpenter and general contractor. All of these professions were really cool to me as child, and architecture seemed like a great way to synthesize those interests.

What do you do?

Much of my work concerns the public realm, primarily in the form of large-scale public art, and art direction for infrastructure and environmental efforts. I also teach at my alma mater, Howard University.

What excites you in the work you do?

As a designer, the opportunity to facilitate exciting ways of lifting up people's stories—especially those that are under-recognized—is a really reward aspect of my work..

Who or what inspires you professionally?

I take a lot of inspiration from the way plants form communities to shape landscapes, the collective possibilities offered in jazz improvisation, and many of my colleague's approaches to practice.

 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

After two years working as an employee on a large-scale stormwater project, I was able to leave that firm by negotiating my own consulting contract with the client on the same project. That opportunity marked the beginning of my design practice.

Featured Project Name: 

Howard Theatre Walk of Fame

Featured Project Location: 

Washington, DC

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

December 2018

Role in Featured Project: 

Winning finalist; project lead

 

Featured Project Description:

The Howard Theatre Walk of Fame is a $400,000 city-commissioned commemorative art walk in Washington's Shaw neighborhood. The Walk honors fifteen cultural icons (Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Ella Fitgerald, Chuck Brown, et al) who launched their careers at the historic Howard Theatre. The interpretive signage, granite markers, and hand-sculpted bronze medallions all borrow motifs from the Theatre's facade, and offers a visual language for Shaw that lifts up the histories of "Black Broadway".

Photography Credit:

Donovan Gerald