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Indigenous Design Thinking: Pathways and Approaches

January 25 @ 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm CST


Indigenous Design Thinking

The Indigenous Design Thinking symposium, presented by the Faculty of Environmental Design, is the first major event of its kind following the launch of the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy ii’ taa’ poh’ to’ p The event focuses on pathways to careers in design for indigenous students and indigenous approaches to design.

Keynote presentations by distinguished Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal, designer of many well-known buildings including the Canadian Museum of History and the National Museum of the American Indian. Mr. Cardinal will speak about his career as an indigenous architect, and discuss many of his distinctive buildings.

Two panel sessions will feature presentations by indigenous designers, including several Faculty of Environmental Design alumni.

The symposium is aimed at indigenous university, college and high school students, instructors, and administrators. It will also appeal to professional designers, industry partners and the University of Calgary community. There will be opportunities to meet with the presenters.

Join us on Thursday, January 25th, admission is free, but seating is limited. Attendance is by registration only, the event will be held at  the University of Calgary, MacEwan Hall A & B, 402 Collegiate Blvd NW (MAP)

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Key highlights about the symposium:

  • The symposium offers two perspectives: pathways for Indigenous students into post-secondary design education and Indigenous philosophies, and approaches to the planning of spaces and design of built form.
  • Pathways, 1pm–4pm, would be of interest to Indigenous highschool students, undergraduate students, instructors and education administrators. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn from Indigenous designers about their educational background, influences, inspirations and how they found their career paths.
  • Approaches, 4pm–8pm, the second half of the event, will appeal to educators, as well as professional designers, industry partners, and civic employees. The panel discussion and Cardinal’s second keynote will be about Indigenous design approaches.
  • Douglas Cardinal is a Canadian architect renowned for curvilinear designs that reflect the landscape around them. His work is influenced by his Aboriginal heritage as well as European Expressionist architecture. Well-known works include the St. Mary’s Church in Red Deer, Alberta (1964), Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec (1989) and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. (1998).
  • Six other architects and designers renowned for their involvement on First Nations projects across Canada will be speaking at the event.
  • Opportunities to meet with the presenters.
  • Registration is free!


January 25
1:00 pm - 7:00 pm