Lesson Plan: The Architecture of Douglas Cardinal
Present students with this quote by
Douglas Cardinal as he explains his vision for the Museum of Civilization in
Gatineau, Quebec (from the website of the Museum of Civilization). Provide
students with the download sheet The Architecture of Douglas Cardinal for their
"The Museum will be a symbolic form. It will speak of the emergence of this continent, its forms sculptured by the winds, the rivers, the glaciers. It will speak of the emergence of man from the melting glaciers; of man and woman living in harmony with the forces of nature and evolving with them. It will show the way in which man first learned to cope with the environment, then mastered it and shaped it to the needs of his own goals and aspirations. It will depict man as a creature of the earth who knows his tremendous power to change his environment, yet understands that he must live in harmony with it."
Have students discuss, in small groups, the meaning of this statement.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Alberta @ 100 on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have them listen to the clip titled "Douglas Cardinal's brand of native architecture" and read the commentaries associated with it. Next, have students visit the website of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and take the architectural tour to learn more about Cardinal's ideas.
Students then create an art work designed to show a human habitat (either within or beyond Alberta) that respects and blends with nature.
Assess art works on their integrity as applied to the assignment. Does the art work adhere to the principal of natural form? Do the ideas behind the art reflect what students have learned from Cardinal?
Revisit and reflect
Display or have students present their art work and explain how they have incorporated nature, human habitation, and art.
Students can research other architectural structures created by Cardinal and use this research as the basis for another art work.