Maya Bird-Murphy

Maya Bird-Murphy

She // Her // Hers

[ID: A dark-skinned woman wearing a red sleeveless top and black-rimmed glasses looks out to her left.]

Portrait photo by Nolis Anderson.

Architectural Designer
Chicago, IL
2024 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by Anonymous.

Maya Bird-Murphy is an architectural designer, educator, and the founder and Executive Director of Mobile Makers, an award-winning nonprofit organization bringing design and skill-building workshops to underrepresented communities. Bird-Murphy is also a faculty member at Boston Architectural College. She believes the design field must expand to include more people and perspectives through teaching and community engagement and hopes to leave her mark on Chicago by making it a more equitable place to live. Bird-Murphy was recently selected by the Harvard Graduate School of Design as a Wheelwright Prize Finalist, awarded the Pierre Keller Prize by Hublot, and chosen by Theaster Gates and Prada to join the Experimental Design Lab Cohort, and was recently profiled in Dwell.
  • Artwork by Maya Bird-Murphy
    Students collaborate on a conceptual design for a new community hub. Photo courtesy of Mobile Makers.
    [ID: A group of high school students leaning over on a wooden table working collaboratively on a conceptual design. Papers detailing the floorplan are scattered across the table.]
  • Artwork by Maya Bird-Murphy
    The Mobile Makerspace at a pop-up event. Photo courtesy of Mobile Makers.
    [ID: A white-and-red Chicago Mobile Makers van is photographed with its back doors open. An assortment of banners, photographs, and art hang from the back doors of the van as crowds move around the van.]
  • Artwork by Maya Bird-Murphy
    Children build, play, and create with custom shapes created by Mobile Makers. Photo courtesy of Mobile Makers.
    [ID: A group of four kids are crouched down on the pavement as they play with neon yellow and green acrylic sheets to create custom shapes.]
Artwork by Maya Bird-Murphy Artwork by Maya Bird-Murphy Artwork by Maya Bird-Murphy