Many Nations Longhouse, University of Oregon (photo from the Jones & Jones firm website)
Well-known Native American architect Johnpaul Jones, FAIA, will give a free lecture on April 15 at 5:00 PM in 177 Lawrence Hall on the University of Oregon campus. He will shed light on the rich, complex, and ever-evolving indigenous architecture of North America and discuss its potential influence upon the wider planning and design community.
Projects designed by Johnpaul Jones include the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., the Agua Caliente Tribe Cultural Museum, The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, the Southern Ute Tribe Museum, and Troth Yeddha' Park at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His Seattle-based firm, Jones & Jones Architecture and Landscape Architecture, also designed the Many Nations Longhouse on the University of Oregon campus.
I attended a talk by Johnpaul Jones at the 2008 AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Conference in Honolulu. There, he described his design philosophy, recounting how his Cherokee-Choctaw ancestry has connected him to the natural world, animal world, spirit world, and our human world. His reverence for the earth and native traditions has translated directly to all of his firm’s projects, often blurring the line between landscape architecture and architecture.
Jones is an alumnus of the UO Department of Architecture and was honored with the school’s Ellis F. Lawrence Medal in 1998. He is also the recipient of the University of Oregon Distinguished Service Award from his alma mater for “not just designing buildings, but creating places that incorporate both the practical and the spiritual, and for heightening human sensitivity to cultural and environmental issues.”