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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Citizen Science in the City

February 19, 2019 in Environment

People often think about cities as being separate from nature, but the reality is that cities are intimately connected to the natural systems that support life. There’s a concept called ‘ecological services’ that is worth understanding when we think about our cities. Basically, ecological services talk about the activities that naturally occur in nature – for example a wetland naturally cleans water; a tree naturally cleans the air – all for free. As more and more people move to cities, it is important to continually improve how we integrate our natural and urban systems. With all that in mind, we wanted to talk to someone who understands the relationship between natural systems and cities. Danah Duke is the executive director of the Miistakis Institute.

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