NAIDOC Week is a week for Australia to come together to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year, it runs from the 4th to the 17th of July and can be observed through a number of activities and events across the country.
Bringing about awareness and celebration regarding the achievements of Indigenous Australians is important not just for NAIDOC week, but all year round. Particularly due to the turmoil and hardships caused by Australia’s colonisation.
One way that Indigenous culture can be better highlighted is through design, especially through architecture. Contemporary Indigenous architecture refers to architecture that can be either for or by Indigenous people but utilised in a modern context. Indigenous Australian’s have a special connection to country and place and this is evident in their designs.
Daniel Glen, an Indigenous American architect says, “Our indigenous ancestors had a very different way of adapting to [environmental] changes than modern forms which really try to resist natural forces.”
Unfortunately, there are not too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander architects, however, many Indigenous Australian scholars, architects, and landscape specialists have contributed to a book called the Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture which hopes to better inform students of the built environment on how Indigenous design principles can be incorporated into a design context.
One of the contributors gave a lecture in Brisbane recently, and you can listen to part of the lecture below.
Otherwise, to learn more about the relevance of Indigenous architecture in a modern world click here.