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David Fortin

David Fortin (Laurentian University)

This talk is co-hosted with the Indigenous Futures Lab and the Urban Studies and Planning Colloquium series.

Per the speakers request, the talk will not be recorded or published for public viewing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 12:00 P.M.

*All Spring Design@Large talks will be hosted online. This aligns with UC San Diego policy that all events be hosted virtual during the Spring 2021 quarter


Reoccupying Design

This talk will discuss the colonial premise for contemporary forms of urban life and the possibilities for Indigenous agency within this context. The fantasy of property is presented as central to a detached relationship with the Land that presents significant challenges for alternative futures.


Dr. David Fortin is an Associate Professor and the current Director of the McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University. He is a citizen of the Métis Nation and member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Indigenous Task Force. In 2018, he was the co-curator of UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, a team of Indigenous architects who represented Canada at the Venice Biennale. He is a registered architect and currently working with multiple First Nations and Métis communities on innovative housing projects.


Design@Large is a speaker series that is hosted by The Design Lab at UCSD, where each quarter we examine a topic in society and the relevance and implications through the lens of human centered design.

Co-hosted by Elizabeth Eikey and Edward Wang and developed in partnership with Carrie Sawyer of Diversity by Design, Design@Large this quarter is a continuation of Winter 2021. The focus is racism in the design of everyday things across a range of topics, such as artificial intelligence, healthcare, advertising, and more. Talks will help shed light on the historical context of racism, the consequences of “designing” without understanding racism’s deep roots, and provide examples of anti-racist and equitable approaches in practice. Too often we want to jump straight to action, but without building our capacity to understand racism (and other “isms”) and critically evaluating its impact, we perpetuate racism and inequity – even with the best intentions. Through an exciting lineup of speakers, this series begins to make connections between history and designing and aims to promote awareness around the lifelong practice of anti-racist work across a variety of interconnected domains.

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