Indigenous Placekeeping in the City
Lecture: “Indigenous Placekeeping in the City”
For the last four decades, there has been an increasing interest by scientists and scholars in Indigenous worldviews, which offer a new ecological ethic, including a heightened standard of care for all living things. The timing coincides with debates surrounding dominant models of practice, including architecture and urbanism. The moment has been called the Transition Imaginary. The mobilizers are called transition activists, whose role it is, to question the structures of unsustainability that maintain the dominant ontology of devastation (Escobar, 2017). Transition activists are creating alternative models of practice that are collaborative, plural, participatory and distributed, and build on the interconnectedness of all life. Join us as we examine architecture and urbanism from an Indigenous lens, including the results of a service-learning studio in Tempe, AZ.
About the Lecturer
Wanda Dalla Costa, AIA, OAA, AAA, LEED A.P. is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation. She is also a mom, a practicing architect and a professor. Dalla Costa was honored in 2019 by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, added to the YBCA 100, a list which celebrates people, organizations, and movements shifting culture through ideas, their art, and their activism. At Arizona State University, she is the director and founder of the Indigenous Design Collaborative, a community-driven design and construction program, which brings together tribal community members, industry and a multidisciplinary team of ASU students and faculty to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities. Her teaching and research is focused on Indigenous ways of knowing and being, co-design methodologies, sustainable design, and the resiliency of vernacular architectures.
In terms of her practice, Dalla Costa was the first, First Nation women to become an architect in Canada. Her firm, Tawaw Architectural Collective (www.TawArc.com) is based in Phoenix, Arizona. Recent projects include the Indigenous embassy in Ottawa, an Indigenous urban early learning center in Saskatoon and a tribal college in Alberta. Dalla Costa was also invited to the 2018 Venice Biennale, world festival in architecture, as part of Unceded, where she joined 18 Indigenous architects from across Turtle Island, to share an Indigenous vision of the future. Dalla Costa holds a Master of Design Research in City Design from SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Calgary.
Plym Endowed Lecture