The Urban Indigenous Collective Community

Celina Brownotter, M.Arch '21


ARCH 793B: Architecture Directed Design Research

Gallery - Composite Figures: Design Innovation Toward Resilient Housing Communities in Los Angeles

Instructor: Geoffrey von Oeyen

The analysis of key intersections between the past and present of Tongvaangar, now known as the Los Angeles region, generates the site for this design thesis. From the analysis of historical California basketry weaving mechanisms to the detailed connections of the contemporary building composite FRP, this project focuses on designing a sustainable, modular, and collective community for one of the largest urban Native populations in the United States. The interlocking, prefabricated, modular units consist of 1-2 bedrooms to pods of multi-generational housing arranged within a grid that carves space for natural light, organic circulation, and nodes that allow for both privacy and cultural collaboration. The purpose of the organic floor plans reflects on the reclamation of the space from the colonized design approach that was forced upon Indigenous communities. The curvilinear circulation space that weaves and connects housing units to amenity spaces is translated from an understanding of the complex nature of Indigenous peoples way of life.


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