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What is Aboriginal architecture and what do designers need to know?

What is Aboriginal architecture and what do designers need to know about designing for Aboriginal peoples? 

“What is Aboriginal architecture?”

This is a question Dr Anne Burgess are often asked when she talks to people from outside her field of study.

Would you like to explore what that question means? In this talk, we will look at a short history in the field of design and architecture for Aboriginal peoples in Australia.

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Then we will look at what, if anything, is holding back “the state of the art” of Aboriginal architecture? (Paul Memmott, 1988) 

There are many considerations that affect the quality of design contributions and outcomes for Aboriginal peoples. Perhaps most important is the very small number of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander designers or architects in Australia, but there are also many other considerations that can affect design outcomes. These include the effects of colonisation on design and architecture and also how cultural difference can affect design communication and consequently—design success. 

Dr Anne Burgess will talk about what is being done to improve design practice, but also what designers can do to contribute to reconciliation in design and architecture for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Generally, the aim of today’s talk is to expand your knowledge and understanding of design for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples as well as to provide general principles for design communication when working across different cultures.