Design Through an Indigenous Lens explores the ways in which we, as Indigenous Peoples, approach the world. We will be discussing how to improve the process of design and architecture though Indigenous Cultures with an application in contemporary society. Ideas about design process, multi-generational households, “universal inclusivity”, urban agriculture and multi-service provider neighbourhoods will be discussed. We will discuss alternates goals for urban planning and look at a case study that supports all of these ideas. Understanding Indigenous cultural knowledge can help push us back towards ways of designing and building that create healthier ways of living.
Matthew P. J. Hickey is Mohawk, Wolf clan, from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. Receiving his Masters of Architecture from the University of Calgary and his Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design, his background continues to have a significant impact on his work. Practicing architecture at Two Row Architect, located on Six Nations, for 14 years, he currently oversees design and development for the firm. Their core focus is on Indigenous design and architecture, designing buildings, landscapes, and installations, on and off-reserve located all over Turtle Island.
Matthew’s focus towards sustainability is on regenerative and restorative design – encompassing ecological, cultural, and economic principles. His work pushes the concepts of integrated landscape, Universal Accessibility, food equity, the importance of water, and place-keeping for all species, including humans. His research includes Indigenous history in architecture of Northern & Middle America and the realignment of western ideology towards historic sustainable technologies for the contemporary North American climate.
Currently teaching at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, and critiquing at the University of Toronto for the past three years, he also believes that giving back and encouraging younger generations is key to moving Indigenous ways of thinking about design and architecture forward. He has lectured all across Canada, including most recently at the Architecture Now Series at the University of Lethbridge. Art being in his blood, he is proud to be a Director on the Board for Artscape Toronto Inc. and a member of Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel.