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Sense of Community: Culturally responsive design fits buildings to place and purpose

February 02, 2024

Architects Giovanna Gambardella, Carel Nagata, and Karen Zaccaro talk to Alaska Business magazine about the “need to listen” before designing

Culturally responsive design can be expressed in materials, colors, and graphics. While many buildings throughout Alaska showcase culturally responsive design—most notably, that of indigenous cultures—there are many other examples, in schools, libraries, police stations, healthcare facilities, and more.

Client input is key, and in the case of a community-use building, it may require talking to a number of stakeholders.

“You can’t just come in and create a culturally responsive design. You need to listen to people and be responsive to what they feel is important,” explains Giovanna Gambardella, buildings principal and architectural leader at Stantec. 

Read the full story at Alaska Business

  • Giovanna Gambardella

    Originally from Italy, Giovanna travelled to Alaska for a one-year professional experience. After more than 17 years and counting, she calls Alaska home.

    Contact Giovanna
  • Karen Zaccaro

    With a passion for creating comfortable public spaces, Karen focuses her work on making the built environment healthy, equitable, and efficient—and she’s exploring ways to make libraries and schools more flexible and responsive to community needs.

    Contact Karen
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