“Beyond Style: Reconsidering the Métis Architect”

On June 19th, two days prior to the 2014 National Aboriginal Day at the President’s Soapbox series on Laurentian University campus, Professor Fortin presented a short talk titled “Beyond Style: Reconsidering the Métis Architect.” It was also announced that he had received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant to study Métis architectural thinking. This talk introduced a critical distinction between “style” and “design thinking” to members of Laurentian’s greater community, emphasizing that the research will be focused on the latter. While there is definitely interest in the Red River framing techniques that will be studied further in terms of material culture and craft, there has been little to no architectural discourse that links a distinctly Métis world view to spatial thinking beyond the archeological research done by Burley et. al during the 1980s. This void likely results from a number of factors: perceived cultural ambiguity – i.e. there is no strict definition about who is considered Métis, the inability to easily categorize or identify Métis buildings, and the historical indifference in architectural education and practice to vernacular buildings and informal building cultures. Thus, this talk aimed to provoke a discussion about weaving together Métis history with contemporary topics linked to culture and identity.

Assistant Professor David Fortin speaking at Laurentian University, June 19, 2014. (Photo by Tammy Gaber)

Assistant Professor David Fortin speaking at Laurentian University, June 19, 2014. (Photo by Tammy Gaber)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s