Design is Ceremony with Chris T. Cornelius

February 9, 2021

6:30 – 7:45 pm

Chris T. Cornelius, Photo - studio:indigenous


Event Registration:


Indigenous architect and teacher Chris T. Cornelius will give an online public talk, titled Design is Ceremony, on Tuesday, February 9, at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited.


It is the second event in the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism’s 2021 Forum Lecture Series.  



Chris T. Cornelius is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. His research and practice focus on the architectural translation of culture; in particular, American Indian culture. He is the founding principal of studio:indigenous, a design and consulting practice.


In 2018, Cornelius was among 18 distinguished Indigenous architects and designers from across North America who represented Canada in the Venice Architecture Biennale. The exhibit, Unceded – Voices of the Land, was led by Ottawa-based architect Douglas Cardinal.


“Everything for me goes back to Douglas Cardinal,” he told Metropolis magazine. “He’s the elder in our field.”


Cornelius served as a cultural consultant and design collaborator with Antoine Predock on the Indian Community School of Milwaukee. It won the AIA Design Excellence award from the Committee on Architecture for Education. 


Wiikiaami, Photo: Nick Zukauskas

His work includes Wiikiaamian installation designed as a contemporary “wigwam” in Columbia, Indiana, for which he won the inaugural J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize. 


The copper-clad form was inspired by the dwellings of the Miyaamia, the indigenous people of central Indiana. Sitting near the Saarinen and Saarinen-designed First Christian Church, it was displayed as part of Exhibit Columbus 2016-17.


Cornelius is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


He is the recipient of awards and honours, including an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship from the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, where he created a visual translation of the Oneida cosmology.


Cornelius holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has previously taught at the University of Virginia.


To learn more about his work, visit studio:indigenous or read his interview with METROPOLIS.


Instagram: @christcornelius