Indigenous Design

March 18, 2019 in Community, Design

The conventional professions of architecture and planning portray modernist and colonial ways of thinking. Just consider the concept of land ownership: Land is divided into parcels that can be bought and sold over and over. Land is seen as a commodity for transaction. We build our cities and buildings by drawing straight, hard lines with calculated angles. After everything is mapped out on a piece of paper, construction occurs. This normalized way of working reflects a dominant western worldview.

But there are many other ways to design buildings and create communities. And our westernized forms of design, planning and architecture almost always leave out the voices of Indigenous people. Today, I wanted to talk to someone who teaches and practices Indigenous Design & Architecture.

David Fortin is a Professor of Architecture at Laurentian University. In this episode, David discusses Indigenous design, why design is important for sovereignty, and the work he did to curate UNCEDED.


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Development & Density

March 4, 2019 in Business, Community, Design

Developers play a key role in shaping the landscape of a city. Often times, however, when we talk about the future of our cities, the voices of the folks that build the places we live, work and play aren’t considered. And that includes this podcast to date. So, we wanted to fix that.

In many North American cities, residential development has created a city that continually sprawls outwards. This has been the case in Calgary, where the City is not constrained by many natural boundaries that limit growth. New communities featuring auto-oriented development with primarily single-detached homes, winding roads and grassy lawns are still very common.

Despite the historical trend to build out instead of up, some developers are re-shaping existing neighbourhoods by designing higher density homes in existing communities. Today, we wanted to talk to a developer who is focussing on thoughtful inner-city development.

Alakarim Devani is a co-founder of RNDSQR, a Calgary-based inner city urban residential development company.

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Paste In Place

December 10, 2018 in Design

Has a way-finding map on the corner of a busy street ever helped you figure out how to get to your destination? Perhaps a simple line graph has taught you about a complex, long-term trend. Or maybe an annual report caught your eye because of its appealing and colourful design.

At Intelligent Futures, we really appreciate strong graphic design. Good maps can help you find your way, clear graphs can help you comprehend complex data, and appealing reports can help you digest important information.

This week, we wanted to talk to someone who shares this appreciation and works at the intersection of graphic design and urban planning.

Ryan Sullivan is the Founder of Paste in Place, a design studio based in Portland, Oregon. Their design work includes data visualizations, maps and graphic design projects that describe and analyze cities.

The work from Paste in Place is always bright, clean and playful. It’s usually cartographic, and sometimes minimal. Ryan and his team effectively communicate plans, strategies, and urban change to readers in an appealing and accessible way.

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