Curry J. Hackett

Designer, Artist, and Educator

Curry J. Hackett is a transdisciplinary designer, public artist, and educator. His practice, Wayside, looks to under-recognized patterns, narratives, and histories to inspire emergent forms of media, building, and art. Noteworthy projects include the Howard Theatre Walk of Fame, the DC High Water Mark project, and his upcoming Swept Yard installation. He is perhaps most known for his recent experiments with artificial intelligence, in which he braids Black aesthetics, kinships with nature, and pop culture to imagine surreal scenes of Black joy and abundance. This work has been exhibited in Washington, DC and Knoxville, TN, and has been featured in Bloomberg and Architect Magazine.

Curry began his academic career in 2019 at his alma mater Howard University, and has since taught at Yale University, Carleton University, City College of New York, the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, and is a core member of the anti-racist design collective Dark Matter U. His philosophy of design education is one of care, messiness, nostalgia, and fun. In 2023, Curry won the ACSA Creative Achievement Award for his “Subjective Waters” studio, a collaboration with his students that explored water’s role in Black culture and geography.

In 2022, Hackett was named an inaugural Journal of Architectural Education fellow and a finalist for the Harvard GSD Wheelwright Prize for his ongoing research project, Drylongso, which explores relationships between Blackness, geography, and land. This project has received funding the Graham Foundation and Washington Project for the Arts, and has been featured in various exhibitions and talks.

Curry is completing the Master’s of Architecture in Urban Design program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Afterwards, he hopes to expand into the art, media, and tech sectors to better understand their role in how Afro-descendants— particularly those in the American South—produce, share, and maintain knowledge.