David Fortin – On Relationality in Housing and Design


Main Hall, Daniels Building

Understanding the limitations of design can be productively reframed as a way of opening up possibilities. This talk by architect and academic David Fortin will offer a series of discussion points surrounding current housing challenges, how they are impacting both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians, and why they beckon for reflection on what design is and who it serves. The talk will feature the Architects Against Housing Alienation project Not For Sale, currently on view in the Canada Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Fortin is a member of AAHA, which curated the pavilion for 2023.

Architect David Fortin is a Professor at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and the first Indigenous person to direct an architecture school in Canada. His research investigates the instrumentality of the design process in influencing how we see our futures, with a particular focus on Indigenous voices and agency. A member of the Métis Nation of Ontario and of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Indigenous Task Force seeking ways to foster and promote Indigenous design in Canada, Fortin also leads a small design firm working closely with communities to realize their visions. In addition to this year’s Venice Biennale project, he was co-curator, with Gerald McMaster, of UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, Canada’s entry to the Biennale in 2018.