Samoan architecture will be among the discussion points
Samoan architecture will be among the discussion points
13 January 2017

Leading Indigenous architects will come together for a free public lecture in Brisbane, discussing state-of-the-art architecture designed for or by Indigenous people around the world.

Influential Indigenous architects from three Pacific Rim nations will discuss their ideas on Indigenous architecture in an event at the State Library of Queensland on Tuesday, 17 January.

Lecture co-ordinator Dr Kelly Greenop from The University of Queensland School of Architecture said the event was not only about acknowledging the past, but emphasising the importance of cultural heritage to cityscapes of the future.

“It’s the beginning of a broader discussion in which Indigenous architectural voices will be heard discussing contemporary architecture instead of being solely referenced in respect to history,” Dr Greenop said.

“The legacy of Indigenous communities has an ongoing role in maintaining the diversity of architecture across the globe.

“Cultural values and perspectives should be incorporated into contemporary designs, reflecting the importance of a diverse and inclusive society that provides everyone with appropriate and enriching environments.”

The event, New Indigenous Architecture of the Pacific Rim, is supported by UQ’s Indigenous Design Place (IDP) and School of Architecture, and State Library of Queensland’s Asia Pacific Design Library.

Speakers include Daniel Glenn, an award-winning architect from the Crow people on the West Coast of the USA, Carroll Go-Sam, a descendant of the Dyirbal people of Far North Queensland and architectural researcher at UQ, and Samoan academic and architect Albert L Refiti.

“The Pacific Rim offers a diverse range of architectural traditions, incorporating many different cultures, materials and climates,” Dr Greenop said.

“Each speaker will discuss their culture’s deep and longstanding insights into the places where both traditional and contemporary design exists.”

The event will precede the release of the International Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture, the first book of its kind.

IDP Founder and Director Professor Paul Memmott said the Handbook project had drawn together both Indigenous and non-indigenous contributors who were academics, practising architects, anthropologists, geographers, urban and landscape designers and art historians from the Pacific Rim. 

“The Handbook will act as a catalyst to explore architectural and environmental issues of contemporary Indigenous identities, agency, well-being, aesthetics and cultural sustainability under the pressures of colonisation, political hegemony, modernisation, globalisation and climate change,” Professor Memmott said.

“The lecture event at the State Library will focus critical debate on these complex topics seeking guidelines for cross-cultural good practice.”

A panel discussion on the day will feature Professor Memmott from the School of Architecture and IDP, and Dr Elizabeth Grant from the University of Adelaide and a co-editor of the book.  

IDP is an informal network of collaborative UQ researchers working with Indigenous leaders, researchers and communities on transdisciplinary projects that strengthen Indigenous problem-solving capacities and well-being.

Register your attendance at New Indigenous Architecture of the Pacific Rim online.

Media:  Genevieve Worrell,, +61 7 3365 8525, +61 (0) 408 432 213. Dr Kelly Greenop,, +61 (0) 412 807 184