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School of Architecture & Planning

Johnny Macon receives Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) 2023 Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership

Matthew Lewis andJennifer Plaskowitz
May 01, 2023

Join us in congratulating Johnny Shakir Macon, Architecture and Environmental Design lecturer and MLA Program alumnus, on his selection as a Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) 2023 Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership recipient. Annually, the LAF awards fellowships through a competitive process to a select number of applicants for a proposed project. Fellowship recipients receive $25,000 and the opportunity to research, explore, and transform their proposal into action. 

Macon's winning proposal centers on the role and use of urban basketball courts as significant community markers and integral cultural elements. During his time as a Morgan student, Macon focused on mixed-use urban space; an area of study he continued to explore through subsequent research and professional design work. “Urban culture, cultural preservation, human geography -- these were the things that drew me in." However, informal public spaces, or DIY as Macon calls them, can sometimes be as important or make a bigger difference than those produced through more conventional design processes.

As part of his research, Macon will delve into the history and evolution of urban basketball courts, and their popularity and use in Baltimore parks. "Were they intended as cultural hotbeds or just included to fill in extra space in a plan?” 

Although where these questions and explorations will lead is somewhat unknown, Macon sees the project evolving in a number of possible ways. “My goal is for this to be something that could be taught and carried forth.” He also intends a multimedia dimension to the project, including video. “It has to be visual, you have to see the colors, you have to hear the sounds, hear the stories.”