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RAIC launches Call for Presentations for Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium


November 18, 2016
by Canadian Architect

Wabano Centre. Photo courtesy of RAIC

Wabano Centre. Photo courtesy of RAIC

RAIC’s first ever Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium will be held on Saturday, May 27, 2017 in Ottawa in conjunction with the RAIC/OAA annual Festival of Architecture. While Indigenous elements will be a part of the main Festival and delegate program, the one-day Symposium will focus solely on Indigenous issues from a diversity of perspectives through a variety of mechanisms.

The Symposium is a project of RAIC’s newly-formed Indigenous Task Force which was officially launched on June 9, 2016 in Nanaimo, B.C. (Snuneymuxw territory) during the 2016 Festival of Architecture. The new RAIC Indigenous Task Force is comprised largely of Indigenous architects and intern architects. Its core purpose is to foster and promote Indigenous design in Canada in rural, Métis and Northern communities, First Nations, and in urban spaces and advocacy with and on behalf of Indigenous communities. Task Force members believe strongly that Architecture is a public-spirited profession with an important role in Reconciliation – addressing injustices through giving agency back to Indigenous people.

“We need designers and designs that can create long-term relevance, exemplify a respectful cultural and economic and environmental responsibility to sustainable development, and consider the reciprocal well-being and quality of life of the people,” said Dr. Patrick Stewart, MRAIC and Chair, RAIC Indigenous Task Force.

To plan the Symposium, the Indigenous Task Force has formed a Working Group which has defined the Symposium objectives: building the Indigenous Task Force network; increasing its public profile; and featuring key topics of interest.

Preliminary discussions show the potential for delegates including architects and allied design and building professionals, as well as students and interns to focus on successful practices and processes and on celebrating Indigenous design. To the extent possible Indigenous architects from New Zealand, Australia and the USA will also be invited to share their experience inbuilding their networks and promoting Indigenous architecture and design in their home countries.

An estimated 100 delegates will gather at The Wabano Centre, a beautiful and culturally appropriate place to undertake this important and ground-breaking Symposium.

This Call for Presentations invites individuals from across Canada to submit proposals for short presentations that focus on best practices and processes in Indigenous architecture and design and/or on celebrating Indigenous design, architecture and place-making. We are seeking a mix of presentations providing innovative examples in urban spaces, as well as in rural, remote, and northern First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. The RAIC also invites international perspectives on Indigenous architecture, design and place-making.

In addition, all proposals are asked to demonstrate sensitivity to Indigenous values of Culture, Connection, Community, Respect, Reciprocity, Harmony with the Natural World and Environmental Sustainability.

Considerations for Presenters

The interactive format of a one-day Symposium imposes some limitations: There will be only three main sessions and these will be done as plenary panels. This means a maximum of 6 to 9 presentations.

Submissions received by the deadline of December 9, 2016 will be reviewed, grouped and topics chosen.

Presentations will be selected that are the best fit with those topics and presenters selected will be invited to deliver their presentations as part of a panel with a 12 – 15-minute limit for each presenter.

Instructions and Information for Presenters

  1. Proposals must be received by December 9, 2016.
  2.  A confirmation of receipt of application will be sent to the presenter listed on the application form.
  3. The Symposium Working Group reserves the right to make the final selection.
  4. By submitting a proposal, it is understood that the presenter agrees to present and to participate as proposed, if accepted.
  5. By submitting a proposal, it is understood that the presenter agrees to be recorded and potentially broadcast live to the public and have their presentation made available to RAIC members and Symposium delegates subsequently.
  6. To keep costs down, funding will not be available to support travel, accommodation, other expenses or for honoraria. (Depending on funds raised, it is possible that some costs may be covered for some of the International presenters.)

Please submit proposals using the following electronic form.
If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Delorey at the RAIC – adelorey@raic.org