Asa Wright MFA Collaborative Design Practicum 2016
Culture, Place & Resiliency; Reimagining Tribal Communities for Future Generations
Culture is the heart of resiliency for Native people, language is the root of all culture and connection to place is what firmly grounds us to each other and the natural world. Today that resiliency is being threatened by divided communities, cultural loss, dying language, health disparities, poverty and racism. Statistics in Indian country can be staggering and what might not be seen as priorities to the western world are the things that keep some of us up at night. These great inequities affect the economic and social mobility between generations, which continues to keep communities stagnant and fighting to obtain basic necessities.
This is where True Leader Creative was born. True Leader Creative is a social enterprise that will work on collaborative cultural regeneration solutions. A “true” leader is a leader who works for the benefit of the people, not one’s self. True Leader Creative will utilize culture as the compass that directs user design. The work will start with Tribal housing. The theory is with safe, livable housing, cultural reclamation and regeneration are possible. A comparative study will look at these issues on a systems level, along with human impact. This comparative study will feed solutions for next steps. Working collaboratively with Tribal communities will let Tribes define their own needs and bring participatory design to the forefront in the creation of sustainable cluster housing models. These models will meet the diverse needs of the Tribes in ways that have not been tried before and work to create a sense of ownership, pride and confidence to continue working as “true” leaders and to define their own futures.