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UWM Professor Chris Cornelius On Indigenous Architecture, 'Built Environments'

Paul Higgins
Milwaukee Magazine
Chris Cornelius, UWM Associate Professor of Architecture.

Architect and UWM professor Chris Cornelius sees architecture as a production of culture and the backdrop of our lives. An enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, his work focuses on his American Indian roots and how cities act as a built environment with its architecture.

"Buildings are a way for us to reconcile ourselves with the earth, right? If we start to think about architecture in that regard, I think we would think about how we build differently and be more responsible about it," Cornelius says.

Cornelius thinks architects should strive to produce meaningful, beautiful work that will be enjoyed 100 years from now, not to preserve a present mandate.

"How am I going to be responsible for this thing for the rest of my life in the world? And how will it react with everything around it?" Cornelius says.

Cornelius is the subject of a feature in this month's Milwaukee Magazine called "Making Architecture Indigenous," written by Mary Louise Schumacher.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
Trapper Schoepp
Trapper Schoepp became Lake Effect's assistant producer in August 2019.