MArch students win Indigenous Futurism Model Making Competition

Award-winning design critically examines tradition, revolution, and reconstructive practices in our built environments

Model by Sangeethan Othayoth and Sindhu Sriram.

"APUTI" Model by Sangeethan Othayoth and Sindhu Sriram

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Published August 30, 2021

MArch graduates Sangeethan Othayoth and Sindhu Sriram have won the Indigenous Futurism Model Making 2021 competition in the Mechanical model category. 

The competition was organized by the Indigenous Scholars of Architecture, Planning and Design (ISAPD), a collective student group at the Yale School of Architecture focused on increasing the knowledge, consciousness and appreciation of indigenous architecture, planning and design.

Indigenous Futurism envisions narratives and environments—built and natural—to realize architectural sovereignty, guided by the lenses of technology, alternative worlds, science fiction, and studies of temporality. Speculative design projects within the theme of Indigenous Futurism help us to think critically about tradition, revolution, and reconstructive practices in our built environments.

Competition winners are separated into two categories, Handmade and Mechanical, and an overall competition honorable mention.

Sangeethan Othayoth and Sindhu Sriram propose a structure that takes its inspiration from the traditional Iroquois longhouse. Its orientation manipulated to grow vertically because the future would demand for increased shelter proportional to population growth.

The student team imagines a world where genetically modified trees and plant forms can become the building material, with modified pigmented networks forming the skin. "We conclude that in the future, it is transient. Since the entire structure is alive, once its purpose is terminated, it becomes one with nature. As the name suggests, Aputi, Inuktitut for 'snow on the ground', disappears after a season of need."