canal map

Indigenous Design Collaborative - Design process

Design process

The following framework was introduced in a recent chapter, “Teaching Indigeneity in Architecture: Indigenous Placekeeping Framework” by Dalla Costa, found in Our Voices: Indigeneity and Architecture (2018). The Placekeeping work was aimed at initiating a dialogue on indigenous design pedagogy, particularly defining an approach for use-inspired work in an institutional setting. While research frameworks in design may be viewed as disruptive to the creative process, these frameworks serve a larger purpose in Indigenous research, and are particularly valuable for the emerging field of Indigenous architecture, as they “offer a portal.. to study characteristics that the Indigenous research community has cited as being specific to Indigenous inquiry” (Kovach, 2009, p.16). While an abundance of fields offer guidance for use-inspired design research, one publication, Learning and Teaching Community-Based Research: Linking Pedagogy to Practice (Etmanski, Hall, and Dawson, 2014) was particularly insightful towards illuminating Indigenous-led and Indigenous approaches that could be applied to design. The following pages provide a synopsis of the four parts, sharing how it was applied to the ‘Indigenize ASU campuses’ study. The intent is not to be declarative, but to initiate a living document, to be added to by scholars, practitioners, knowledge brokers and citizen experts.

The design process, articulated here, created by Rhonda Harvey to describe the Indigenous design journey she took, acknowledges the exploratory nature of the study of Indigenous design. The guiding framework – as a cycle of birth, childhood, adolescence and adulthood - is inspired by the Navajo worldview, emphasizing knowledge as a life-long journey. The words associated with each of the four cycles were generated by the Indigenous students aiming to articulate descriptors in an Indigenous design process.

indigenous design collaborative framework
indigenous design collaborative rhonda process