“Aboriginal Housing Collaborative Design”

– A Seminar and Discussion with Douglas Cardinal and a Panel of Experts


The third event in the ISG High Performance Building Seminar Series took place on March 24, 2016 at 1125@carleton.


This event explored a powerful design methodology for housing, and one that is sensitive to Aboriginal culture and consensus-building traditions. The morning seminar looked at design processes and nuances of working with Indigenous partners. The afternoon panel discussion highlighted the results of successful culturally sensitive collaboration. Both sessions featured experts with a wealth of practical experience. The event has been structured to enable conversation, exchange and networking.

Morning Seminar:

Understanding Needs in Indigenous Communities:

Culture, Communication and the Integrative Design Process for Architecture, with Douglas Cardinal and Bill Semple.

As an Elder, Douglas Cardinal opened the day with short ceremony. The morning session explored the process of working with Indigenous communities in Canada. The session provided an overview of how Indigenous peoples’ values, principles and approaches to collaboration influence effective integrative design as a model for architectural planning. Using specific design processes adapted to the needs of Indigenous communities, the presenters provided attendees with significant insights into Indigenous values, how designers identified and worked with these values, and how Indigenous values have been expressed in built form. The session was for those who wish to engage and work with Indigenous communities in Canada.

Afternoon Panel Discussion:

Applications of Integrative Design for Indigenous Communities:

Learning from the Land and the People with Douglas Cardinal, Bill Semple, Jeff Armstrong, Mark Maracle and Don McBain.

Moderator: Gary Martin, ISG

Panelists presented case studies of projects during which they partnered with First Nations. The focus was on the needs of specific Indigenous communities in Canada, and what this meant to the process of designing built form in these communities. Presentations used examples of collaborative design methods for projects at various scales of “Indigenous Architecture”, from housing to communities, to illustrate how the roles of the architect and other professionals changed when working on these projects in Indigenous communities. The session incorporated a panel discussion and time for questions from the audience.



The second event in ISG’s Seminar Series was Jan. 14 2016 on Climate Change and Residential Development. Gary Martin from ISG created context for the seminar by talking about global climate change influences on urban development, climate projections and opportunities for the development industry. Glenn McGillivray, Managing Director of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction detailed recent changes to weather in this region and skyrocketing costs to the insurance industry from weather events, many of which could be mitigated through simple and inexpensive construction methods. David Foster (left), Communications Director from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, talked about his organization’s existing and future greenhouse gas mitigation strategies, and their impacts on housing affordability.



Last Nov. 27, ISG and 1125@carleton hosted a seminar on Building Form and Energy. First, Woytek Kujawski M.Arch. (right) presented on residential building form and energy consumption.



Next, architect and Energy Adviser Stephen Pope (left, with MC Gary Martin behind him) talked about commercial building form and energy consumption.