Designing & Prototyping

The work presented below emerged from the One House Many Nations house at EDITdx — a prototype unit that was developed through the One House Many Nations campaign by Idle No More in collaboration with the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) Design Lab, (DDL), and the University of Minnesota.

Following the One House Many Nations prototype house at EDITdx, the project continued through a training program at OCN where another iteration of the house was developed to better incorporate the need to build as much of the house with the community as possible. This story is the product of that training program.

Over the winter of 2017-2018, Chris directed the building training program at OCN: working with eight OCN trainees and two OCN supervisors in a process of design thinking and material prototyping to develop a housing system that responds to climatic and cultural needs.

The outcome of our two months of design and carpentry training produced a house design and established a small-scale manufacturing plant to produce the components of the house.

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What is Land-Based?

In our third installment of Questions & Answers, we look into the meaning of land-based.

Question: I am wondering what it means to be place-based. How does resilience grow out of it?

[CT] Place-based and land-based, from a designer’s point of view, are interchangeable.

These terms simply define the constituents which must be considered in the design and planning process. For me they also describe the foundations of my ethical compass and how I see myself relating to the world around me ...

[AH] And I would say, place-based and land-based are almost interchangeable.

A land-base includes all the individuals and their interactions that reside in a place (People); all the understandings, ideas, beliefs, and values that form the culture of a community (Knowledge); and all of the physical things - from the strata under our feet to the thin skies above us - that defines the character and composition of a space (Place).


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On Plan-Making

In this second installment of Questions & Answers, we delve into plan-making.

Question: Why is it important to make plans even without knowing the exact reasons and/or outcomes? What is the value/necessity in this curiosity or exploration?

The act of preparation makes us stronger. Awareness of the complexities and challenges of life empowers us. It allows us to gain a full picture, but this can only happen if we stop ignoring the hard parts of human development, the things we usually just write off as externalities.

Right now, we need the whole picture. We’ve ignored too much for too long and it has come back to us directly (like climate change) and indirectly (like cultural shifts due to technological changes).

When we acknowledge the uncertainty of our collective future under rapid environmental change, we are forced to be flexible—to supplicate ourselves to powers greater than ourselves, things which I believe will always exist and form the encounters that lead to feelings of meaning or value in human experience.

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Implications of a Rapidly Changing World

Change is never easy. With it comes pain and conflict, but it also gives form to opportunity.

Alex and Chris answer the question, "What does the 'rapidly changing world' look like or mean to you?"

[CT] It might seem like there is no point in acting, like the game is set. I don’t see that. What I see is an opportunity for a very young and complex species to come full circle and begin to re-form the sort of relationships that will bolster resilience, that will lead to life persisting at complex levels.

[AH] It’s important to remember that we need this awareness for our own sake, not for the sake of the planet or life itself — those things can take care of themselves. What we face now is an internal crisis, an acknowledgement of systems much bigger than ourselves.

The term Anthropocene suggests that we are powerful, but if we combine this notion with the uncertainty of the implications of our actions across both time and scale, it should remind us how big the world is and how small we truly are.
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In the coming weeks, we will be answering questions ourselves about this document and soliciting answers from others as well. To start out, though, here is the manifesto in full.

We know that the world is rapidly changing;
We know this threatens our way of life,
And that of much of the rest of the living world.

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Jenniey Tallman
Welcome to the Landbase Circular

At LbCV, we value a good conversation above just about anything else.

Dinner with friends inevitably turns to talking, laughing, and arguing about big ideas around a fire or the kitchen table. This blog aims to translate those small late night talks into virtual conversations.

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Jenniey Tallman