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indigenous placekeeping in campus design and planning


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This publication is intended to serve as a framework for universities interested in integrating Indigenous design within their campuses. The 116-page publication was created by an all-Indigenous team, led by Dalla Costa, an architect and member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, along with students in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Industrial Design, Graphics Design and Environmental Design. The book begins with an Introduction of the project and local context. The next three chapters include: Design Process, Design Research on the 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona, and Design Ideation, which contains 16 proposals for ASU’s four campuses. The final chapter, Living Project, profiles a series of recommendations to act as parallel contributions.

Emerging globally, arising from similar studies across North America, is a new design ethos, referred to as Indigenous Design Thinking, Indigenous Placekeeping or Placemaking. What Indigeneity adds to the development of other equitable design practices, such as Creative Placemaking is a way of accessing, understanding and working through complex holistic systems – the integration of people, kinship networks, community, place, knowledge systems, values, worldview, history and storytelling – all vital elements in creating meaningful built environments.
ASU provides a rich backdrop for this study, situated within the homelands of the Akimel O’odham and Pee-Posh peoples. Archaeological studies categorize this region as a desert-adapted irrigation agriculture society active from A.D. 300 to 1450. The original Hohokam people engineered water canal networks which spanned 500 miles and provided water for 110,000 acres of land in and around the city. This was done long before Phoenix became a city in 1881. We welcome your feedback on Issue One of our Indigenous design journey.


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