Directed by Paul M. Rickard • Documentary • 2006 • 93 minutes
ABORIGINAL ARCHITECTURE, LIVING ARCHITECTURE offers a fascinating in-depth look into the diversity of North American Native architecture. Featuring expert commentary and stunning imagery, this program provides a virtual tour of seven Aboriginal communities -- Pueblo, Mohawk, Inuit, Crow, Navajo, Coast Salish and Haida -- revealing how each is actively reinterpreting and adapting traditional forms for contemporary purposes.
Everyone is familiar with certain types of Aboriginal architecture. Traditional igloos and teepees are two of the most enduring symbols of North America itself. But how much do we really know about the types of structures Native Peoples designed, engineered, and built?
For more than three hundred years, Native communities in North America have had virtually no indigenous architecture. Communities have made do with low-cost government housing and community projects designed by strangers in far away places.
Thankfully, across the continent, political, financial, and cultural changes have created a renaissance of Native design. Modern Aboriginal architects are turning to ancient forms, adapting them in response to changes in the natural and social environment, and creating contemporary structures that hearken to the past.
Employing old and new materials and techniques and with an emphasis on harmony and balance, Native designers are successfully melding current community needs with tradition. The resulting buildings are testaments to the enduring strength and ingenuity of Aboriginal design.