Building Futures: Framework for the Contemporary Native School
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Building Futures is a response to the social, cultural, and environmental challenges facing Native tribes of the Southwest, with the goal of addressing adverse impacts on Native youth and their schools. The proposal argues for the rejection of a typological “Native American architecture” in school design, in pursuit of an evolutionary response to the current place and time of unique tribal communities. The project seeks to create space for tribes to explore new opportunities and means of expression in their schools. The proposal defines a material and structural system that enables community participation in the construction phase of a project. Additionally, it demonstrates emerging spatial strategies in education that invite community interaction and support long-term flexibility as educational strategies change. The strategic framework is demonstrated in a specific design response, which serves to inspire new thinking and provoke a conversation among tribal members and designers about the future of education on Native reservations. This is a critical moment in which tribes must question existing models and policies, and this research is offered to inspire that process.
- Architecture