A lecture by Mabel O. Wilson ’91 M.Arch, the Nancy and George Rupp Professor of Architecture and Co-Director of the Global Africa Lab at GSAPP, Professor in African American and African Diasporic Studies, and Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University with response by Amale Andraos, Dean of Columbia GSAPP.
Mabel O. Wilson’s practice Studio & has been a competition finalist for several important cultural institutions including lower Manhattan’s African Burial Ground Memorial and the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African American History and Culture (with Diller Scofidio + Renfro). For her most recent design collaboration, she is member of the architectural team for the recently opened Memorial to Enslaved African American Laborers at the University of Virginia. Exhibitions of her work have been featured at the Venice Biennale, Art Institute of Chicago, Architekturmuseum der TU Mūnchen, Istanbul Design Biennale, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s Triennial, the Storefront for Art and Architecture and SF Cameraworks. She is on the curatorial team for Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America opening at the Museum of Modern Art this February.
Wilson is a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture? (WBYA?)—an advocacy project to educate the architectural profession about the problems of globalization and labor. In 2011 she was honored as a United States Artists Ford Fellow in Architecture and Design. She received the prestigious Arts and Letters Award. In 2019 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for her work with Global Africa La (GAL), an innovative research initiative that explores the spatial topologies of the African continent and its diaspora. Wilson was also awarded in 2019 the Educator/Mentor honor from Architectural Record’s Women in Architecture Design Leadership Program.
Wilson has published two books Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (2016) and Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (University of California Press 2012). She is currently developing the manuscript for her third book Building Race and Nation: Slavery and Dispossessions Influence on American Civic Architecture and co-edited the first-ever volume on Race and Modern Architecture, Race and Modern Architecture
A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present (University of Pittsburgh Press 2020). Her scholarly essays have appeared in numerous journals and books on art and architecture, black studies, critical geography, urbanism, memory studies.