Mabel O. Wilson holds the Nancy and George Rupp Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and is also Professor in the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department at Columbia University. She is the Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies and co-directs Global Africa Lab. Wilson has authored 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). Recently, she co-edited with Irene Cheng and Charles Davis the volume Race and Modern Architecture: From the Enlightenment to Today (2020).
With her transdisciplinary practice Studio&, Wilson is a principal collaborator in the architectural team that recently completed the award-winning Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia. Exhibitions of her work have been featured at SFMoMA, Venice Biennale, Art Institute of Chicago, 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. 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. For The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, she was co-curator of the exhibition Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America (2021).
She has received awards, fellowships and residencies from The American Academy in Rome, The Center for Advanced Study in Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, The Getty Research Institute, MacDowell, Graham Foundation, and New York State Council for the Arts. In 2011 she was honored as a United States Artists Ford Fellow in architecture and design. In 2021 the National Building Museum awarded the Vincent Scully Prize to Wilson.