New ways of integrating indigenous knowledge in landscape architecture design

Take note: City officers, policy makers, landscape architects. Indigenous communities and people working with indigenous communities worldwide. 

In the current context, in New Zealand, traditional, cultural and ancestral landscapes have been desecrated by growing demands from colonization, capitalism, urbanization and globalization.

What we did and why: We explored the potential for reinstating the ideologies associated with traditional indigenous knowledge and, in particular, the intricacies of interconnectedness between environments and people. We examined new ways of integrating Māori knowledge in landscape architecture and landscape design to renew and expand the concepts of belonging, identity, quality of life and place.

What this study adds: This study adds to the understanding of where identity and wellbeing fit when we design for architecture or landscape architecture. It also adds to our;

  • acknowledgment of the role of nature, and the
  • ability to design in a way that addresses the natural ecosystems and celebrates the environment around us.

The study show the importance of the consideration of traditional indigenous knowledge as a catalyst for truly understanding site context and design outcome

Implications for city policy and practice: Based on this study we suggest:

  • Involving the wider community in the process of designing and building can both enrich a design and benefit the community members.
  • Ensuring an holistic understand of site and landscape through an indigenous lens can assist in designing better places for people.

Full article: Haumanu ipukarea, ki uta ki tai: re-connecting to landscape and reviving the sense of belonging

Authors: Bruno Marques, Jacqueline McIntosh and William Hatton