Three New Faculty Join the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism
June 30, 2021
We are delighted to welcome three new faculty members to the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism. Omeasoo Wahpasiw and Jake Chakasim are both cross-appointed with the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, and are part of the Provost’s initiative to bring more Indigenous scholars to Carleton University. Menna Agha is hired in the newly defined area of Design and Spatial Justice. All three will enhance curricular developments that support multiple histories, diverse constituencies, emerging theoretical frameworks, and design’s role in shaping a more socially and environmentally just environment.
Dr. Menna Agha
Menna Agha is an architect and researcher who has recently been coordinating the spatial justice agenda at the Flanders Architecture Institute in Belgium. She joins the Azrieli School to promote pedagogy and research in the newly established area of Design and Spatial Justice. Agha holds a PhD in Architecture from the University of Antwerp and a Master of Arts in Gender and Design from Köln International School of Design. In 2019/2020, Agha was the Spatial Justice Fellow and a visiting assistant professor at the University of Oregon. She is a third-generation displaced Fadicha Nubian, a legacy that infuses her research interests in race, gender, space, and territory. Among her publications: Nubia still exists: The Utility of the Nostalgic Space; The Non-work of the Unimportant: The shadow economy of Nubian women in displacement villages; and Liminal Publics, Marginal Resistance.
Jake Chakasim, a Cree scholar from the Mushkegowuk Territory (Northern Ontario), has established an interdisciplinary approach to community design via architecture, engineering, and Indigenous planning principles, which he now brings to the Azrieli School. He is currently a doctoral candidate with the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning, with a research focus on the etymology of Indigenous design. He brings forward cultural narratives about the ways that Indigenous practitioners lay bare the historical injustices imposed upon Indigenous communities, and about the sociological forces that continue to shape (and often ill-define) working relationships with Indigenous communities. Chakasim is an active member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Indigenous Task Force. He was part of the team of Indigenous architects and designers responsible for UNCEDED, Canada’s entry in the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture. He is cross-appointed with Carleton’s School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies.
Dr. Omeasoo Wahpasiw
Omeasoo Wahpasiw is a nehiyaw iskwew living in Anishinabe territory. Her PhD dissertation is titled Tla’amin Housing, Architecture and Home Territories in the 20th Century: Invisible spaces Shaping Historical Indigenous Education. It explores the ways in which Indigenous people have maintained their cultural and spatial heritage even while forced to inhabit architecture that follows colonial paradigms. She co-wrote the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Women’s Commission submission to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People. For the past several years, she has been an assistant professor in the Department of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island, where she led a suite of courses on Indigenous culture and values and the emerging legacy of the residential schools. Wahpasiw is cross-appointed with Carleton University’s School of Indigenous & Canadian Studies.