Courtesy of Anjelica Gallegos and Summer Sutton

The Yale School of Architecture’s Indigenous Scholars of Architecture, Planning and Design — a student group dedicated to increasing awareness of Indigenous architecture  — have been named the inaugural residents for a residency program called “Center for Architecture Lab” at the Center for Architecture in New York City.

The Indigenous Scholars of Architecture, Planning and Design, or ISAPD, is led by Anjelica Gallegos GRD ’21 and Summer Sutton GRD ’22. An advisory committee at the Center for Architecture, which is a cultural venue for architecture in New York, nominated the student group to be the five-month digital residency program’s first-ever residents. The program plans to invite two sets of residents, with the second to be announced this summer.

“Our theme for the Center for Architecture Lab residency is ‘Indigenous Futurism,’” Gallegos said. “We will be exploring narratives of the future for Indigenous communities and architectural sovereignty guided by the lenses of technology, alternative worlds, science fiction and studies of temporality.”

Gallegos, Sutton and Charelle Brown ’20 established ISAPD at the Yale School of Architecture in 2018. According to Gallegos, ISAPD is meant to be a “collective student group focused on increasing the knowledge, consciousness and appreciation of Indigenous architecture, planning and design at the Yale School of Architecture and the Yale community at large.”

Gallegos mentioned that the group has worked on projects involving the curation and design of exhibitions, proposed curriculum additions for classes and increased Indigenous representation at the School of Architecture. Additionally, they helped provide information on the Indigenous inhabitants and caretakers of building sites for the Jim Vlock Building Project, an annual project in which first-year architecture students design and build structures in underprivileged neighborhoods.

This year, a six-person advisory committee at the Center for Architecture — composed of esteemed members in the architecture field including professors and executives at non-profits — selected ISAPD for their new residency program.

According to Katie Mullen, the Center for Architecture’s director of exhibitions and programs, the Center for Architecture Lab was created in response to the destabilizing forces of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reinvigorated racial justice movements taking place across the United States. 

“The seismic societal shift created by these circumstances have inspired museums, non-profits, professional membership organizations, educational institutions and others to think critically about their role in shaping public discourse,” Mullen said.

The Center for Architecture organizes exhibitions, public programs, a month-long design festival and educational experiences for K-12 students. This past year, it created the Center for Architecture Lab. The Center’s residency program allows residents to connect with leaders in the architecture field, access the Center for Architecture’s digital platforms, design digital programs and receive a stipend.

During their residency, Gallegos and Sutton plan to consult with Indigenous leaders about designing structures with Indigenous communities in mind and drawing attention to designs by other Indigenous architects.

“Our intention is to bring Indigenous architecture perspectives to the mainstream architecture profession,” Sutton said.

Sutton also said that she and Gallegos will feature a range of work produced by Indigenous leaders and practitioners in an exhibition, speaker series and newsletter publications at the Center for Architecture. This featured work will include some of their own projects.

“The Center for Architecture Lab highlights the designs and ideas of diverse new voices, within architecture and design, to generate an introduction and conversation of various perspectives, unique solutions and important questions,” Gallegos said.

Mullen said that the Center for Architecture has a long history of ties to Yale School of Architecture through various initiatives such as the annual Deans’ Roundtable discussion, which often features deans from the School of Architecture. Yale School of Architecture Deans and students have also served on the board of American Institute of Architects New York, the sister organization to the Center for Architecture.

The Center for Architecture Lab’s second residency will be announced in June 2021.

Marisol Carty | marisol.carty@yale.edu

MARISOL CARTY
Marisol Carty covers Music. She is a sophomore double majoring in Economics and Philosophy.