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RAIC case studies exemplify best practices in First Nations co-design and building


May 25, 2018
by Canadian Architect

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) initiated Four Case Studies Exemplifying Best Practices in Architectural Co-design and Building with First Nations as a resource for designers, clients, funders, and policymakers.

As the leading voice for excellence in the built environment in Canada, the RAIC believes that architecture is a public-spirited profession with an important role in reconciliation – addressing injustices by giving agency back to Indigenous people.Four Case Studies Exemplifying Best Practices in Architectural Co-design and Building with First Nations

The document builds on the success of the RAIC International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium held in on May 27, 2017. At this ground-breaking event, Indigenous speakers from Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States presented best practices in co-design with Indigenous communities and clients. Co-design is a collaborative design process between architects and the Indigenous community as client.

The symposium was a project of the RAIC Indigenous Task Force which seeks ways to foster and promote Indigenous design in Canada. Its members include Indigenous and non-Indigenous architects, designers, academics, intern architects and architectural students.

The four case studies presented here further explore and exemplify best practice themes, specifically in the context of three First Nations and one Inuit community in Canada.

Ottawa consultant Louise Atkins carried out the research and writing. Special thanks are extended to the Department of Indigenous Services Canada for funding the case studies, and to the 15 individuals interviewed for the projects who generously shared their time, insights and inspiring stories.

The four case studies set out to explore best practices in architectural co-design in the context of three First Nations and one Inuit community in Canada. One case study was selected from each of four asset classes – schools, community and cultural centres, administration and business centres, and housing. These asset types would be of special interest to First Nation, Inuit, and other Indigenous communities and to the Department of Indigenous Services Canada as they consider the architectural design, building, and funding of new community infrastructure facilities and housing.

Best practice insights from these studies can inspire communities and help shape government funders’ policies and practices.

You can find more information about Four Case Studies Exemplifying Best Practices in Architectural Co-design and Building with First Nations via the RAIC website, linked here.



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