Introducing Indigenous Architecture


Program Date: February 20, 2024
Chat Transcript
Q&A Transcript

“Indigenous architecture,” as defined by the SAH Indigenous Architecture Affiliate Group, is architecture designed by or for Indigenous people. This definition encompasses traditional forms of Indigenous architecture (pre-colonial to present), colonial architecture affiliated or concerned with Indigenous communities (such as BIA boarding schools or HUD housing), and recent Indigenous architecture (designed in collaboration with Indigenous communities and/or designed by Indigenous architects).

Indigenous architecture is underrepresented in architectural discourse and education. Few architectural historians, let alone Indigenous architectural historians, have conducted research on the topic. Architectural education in North America is traditionally based upon European models and has rarely included Indigenous architecture. Until recently, few North American academic institutions have offered courses pertaining to the history, theory, or design of Indigenous architecture. Faculty wishing to include Indigenous architecture in architectural history surveys find that even the most recent and comprehensive global textbooks on architectural history include very little about the topic.


The aim of the SAH Indigenous Architecture Affiliate Group is to build a community of scholars whose work focuses on Indigenous architecture and who together have the capacity to increase publications on the topic. “Introducing Indigenous Architecture” is the group’s inaugural public event, providing an opportunity for founding members, including an Elders’ Council of five leading design practitioners and scholars, to introduce themselves and invite others to join and participate in their activities. After presentations of their work, panelists will discuss how to expand the scope of current architectural history books (and current curricula and teaching in North America) to incorporate Indigenous architectural history. Following questions and comments from the audience, the session will conclude with a discussion of the group’s upcoming activities and information on how to get involved.



Moderators (Founding Co-Chairs of the affiliate group):

Tippeconnic Fox

Jason Tippeconnic Fox, PhD (Comanche/Cherokee)
Architectural Historian, Idaho State Historic Preservation Office



Anne Lawrason Marshall, RA, PhD
Professor Emeritus, Architecture/American Indian Studies, University of Idaho


Panelists (Founding Indigenous Elder Council Members of the affiliate group):



Daniel J. Glenn, AIA, NCARB (Apsáalooke-Crow)
Principal Architect of 7 Directions Architects/Planners



Theodore (Ted) S. Jojola, PhD (Isleta Pueblo)
Distinguished Professor & Regents’ Professor, Architecture & Planning, Univ. of New Mexico
Founder & Director, Indigenous Design and Planning Institute, University of New Mexico



Johnpaul Jones, FAIA (Choctaw/Cherokee)
Principal, Jones and Jones



Brian McCormack, RLA (Nez Perce)  
Principal Landscape Architect, McCormack Landscape Architecture



Lynn Paxson, PhD
University Professor & Professor of Architecture Emerita, Iowa State University

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610