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Michael Bennett


Creative Director of Studio Kër

Michael Bennett is an interdisciplinary spatial designer deeply rooted in the African diaspora, blending diverse experiences to create a unique perspective in architecture and design. Transitioning from a successful career as a Super Bowl champion and Pro Bowl defensive end in the NFL, Bennett's design philosophy centers around creating spaces that evoke a profound sense of connection, belonging, and tranquility.

Bennett believes in the transformative power of public spaces as catalysts for communal experiences, allowing individuals to express their private emotions and ideas within shared settings. His design ethos emphasizes the ability of architecture and art to transcend cultural boundaries and foster genuine connections between people.

Guided by his ancestral roots, Bennett's designs are imbued with the experiences and traditions of the African diaspora. Inspired by the community and the storytelling traditions of Senegal, his works are narrative-rich, inviting cultural dialogue and intimate conversations. He celebrates history, storytelling, and craftsmanship, exploring form and language across various spatial scales using sculpture, architecture, and furniture design as his mediums of expression.

Bennett's work integrates contemporary and historical elements, balancing an understanding of Blackness in America with a global diasporic perspective. He addresses themes of race, identity, politics, and intersectionality, often referencing historically Black cultural motifs and object histories to challenge dominant Western domestic codes.

Based in Hawaii, Bennett studied at the Heritage School of Interior Design in Seattle and the University of Hawaii’s School of Architecture. He founded Studio Kër in 2020, the studio that serves as an interdisciplinary platform communicating through African diasporic forms and languages across different scales of spaces. The collection explores themes of intersectionality, segregation, and American ghettos, examining the identity and experiences of the African diaspora.

Outside of his design work, Bennett is an activist and bestselling author, advocating for numerous causes and organizations worldwide. He has also established an endowment for students from low-income homes at the Rhode Island School of Design, showcasing his commitment to education and empowerment through design.

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