Brook McIlroy’s Indigenous Design Studio announces the opening of Indigenous spaces and landscapes in Algonquin College’s DARE District, places which embed Indigenous knowledge throughout the college and provide support for Indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship.
Algonquin College’s DARE (Discovery, Applied Research, and Entrepreneurship) District provides a new library and learning centre as well as training and testing spaces that give students access to the latest technologies. The project was a collaboration with Diamond Schmitt Architects and Ottawa-based Edward J. Cuhaci Architects. Brook McIlroy’s Indigenous Design Studio led the design of a 5,000 square foot addition to accommodate the Institute for Indigenous Entrepreneurship and the Indigenous Commons, providing a unique facility with a large circular gathering space to facilitate traditional and contemporary Indigenous teachings. Brook McIlroy also designed an Indigenous landscape and outdoor teaching area in the central courtyard, and provided interior design services to weave Indigenous themes throughout the project.
Relationships fostered with Indigenous Communities at the College and in the surrounding Ottawa Region informed the design so that it reflects traditional Indigenous ways of learning and sharing within their community. By drawing strong connections between the land and the built-form, and by imbuing cultural references through art and iconography, the design welcomes Indigenous and non-Indigenous students into an inclusive and supportive learning environment.