Call for Papers: Designing for First Nations Communities Call for Papers:

Fabrications: The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand invites papers for a special issue (Vol. 34, No. 3) on the theme of Designing for First Nations Communities, edited by Kelly Greenop and Isabel Rousset. The deadline is 1st May 2024.

Histories of architecture for First Nations peoples have been part of Fabrications scholarship since the journal’s inception. The very first issue in 1989 contained a review by Ann McGrath (UNSW) of Helen Ross’s book Just For Living(1987), an analysis of Aboriginal housing in crisis in Australia. The first articles on First Nations built environments featured in the next issue (2-3, 1991), which included Sarah Treadwell’s “Rangiatea: Architecture Between the Colonial and the Indigenous,” and Mike Austin’s “Notes on the Colonial City”. This issue also featured a book review by Peter Bell of John Hockings’ Traditional Architecture in the Gilbert Islands: A Cultural Perspective, (1989). In 2008 Memmott and Davidson’s Fabrications paper examined “Indigenous Culture and Architecture in the South Pacific Region: 25 Years of SAHANZ Research” covering both journal articles and SAHANZ conferences, which discussed some 100 papers.

The scholarship on this topic over the last three decades has nonetheless remained uneven and full of gaps. This editors’ issue seeks to build on and encourage further pursuit of scholarship on architecture and the built environment for First Nations communities and clients, across the Oceania region. We aim to elicit papers that reveal the diverse history of architectural responses to First Nations peoples’ cultures, from the era of initial European contact through to more contemporary developments. 

We welcome papers from across our region, including the First Nations of Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and Moana Pasifika. Papers might include studies of particular buildings types designed to accommodate First Nations people, including but not limited to culturally-specific places we might be familiar with now, such as community, health or cultural centres, housing for First Nations peoples, and those from colonial and European-contact eras such mission and reserve buildings and precincts. The governance relationships might range from those where First Nations building traditions were maintained or developed through the colonial era, to those which have more recent histories of self-governed, bicultural, or sovereign Nations as clients, collaborators or active agents in procuring architectural outcomes. 

We particularly encourage submissions that address the recent past, from the self-determination, bicultural, and independence eras onwards (1980s to today), which have been little examined but offer rich opportunities for discussion of this time of important change within architecture and built environments. The ways in which designs for First Nations people have been envisioned is critical to understanding how societies have seen and valued First Nations people, and can tell us much about the designers and societies from which they emanate.

Deadline for submissions is 1st May 2024. Questions about the issue should be directed to the journal’s co-editors: Kelly Greenop and Isabel Rousset.