Indigenous Knowledge and the Decolonization of Architectural Pasts and Futures
Architecture in the United States—and many other parts of the world—is built on stolen land. Architectural historians have begun to acknowledge the ongoing epistemic and physical violence of settler colonialism, to explore how the continued dispossession of Indigenous people might challenge the narratives of our discipline, and to engage questions of colonization and decolonization in their curricula. But too few have examined how the architectural theories and practices of Indigenous people across the globe might impact the writing of architectural stories, the limits, possibilities, and definitions of archives, and even the category of “architecture” itself.
This project explores these issues, and begins with an event at the Chicago Architecture Biennial co-organized with the Settler Colonial City Project (SCCP):
Decolonizing Architectural Pasts and Futures
Saturday October 19, 2019, 2:00 to 5:30 p.m.
American Indian Center, 3401 West Ainslie St. Chicago, IL map
Moving beyond the logics of extraction that have too often characterized settler engagements with Indigenous people and their lands, speakers at this event will discuss how architectural historians and theorists can responsibly engage Indigenous knowledge, history, and practices.The first set of speakers, from the fields of Indigenous studies, literature, and history, will share how they have addressed questions about indigenous knowledge from within their own disciplines. The second set of speakers, who are all architectural historians, will have a roundtable discussion about ethical engagements with Indigenous knowledge in architectural pedagogy and research.
Speakers include Chris Cornelius (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Mark Jarzombek, John N. Low (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians), Kyle T. Mays (Black/Saginaw Anishinaabe), Kelema Lee Moses, Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco, Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió, Desirée Valadares, and Kelly Wisecup.
Organized by Andrew Herscher and Ana María León for SCCP and Ayala Levin and Meredith TenHoor for Aggregate, as part of the program organized by SCCP for the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
The event is funded by The Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative, the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute, the Northwestern University Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and generously hosted by the American Indian Center of Chicago.