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David Fortin

David Fortin

Associate Professor

School of Architecture
Science, Engineering and Architecture
TE-219 Sudbury Campus


Born and raised throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan, David is a Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (MRAIC), a LEED accredited professional, and a registered architect in the province of Ontario. He previously worked with firms such as GEC Architects and McKinley Burkart Architects in Calgary. Since 2005, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in architectural design, history and theory, including systems-based courses studying housing for farmworkers in the United States, urban and rural living conditions in Kenya, and led travel abroad programs in South America. David has also led various community-based design-build projects in Kenya, the USA and Canada.

At the McEwen School of Architecture, David has taught various studios, including the graduate Indigenous Design studio, and developed an introductory building science course emphasizing the impact of climate change on architectural thinking. In 2018, he completed a study of Red River Métis contributions to architectural thinking in Canada as part of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant ( He is currently working as co-editor of an issue of Scapegoat Journal with Associate Professor Adrian Blackwell (University of Waterloo) focusing on the delineation of land through notions of property, with particular emphasis on colonial frameworks in this process. This initiative recently received a SSHRC grant to explore these ideas through a research creation project using cartography with a focus on Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement.

David is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario and the RAIC Indigenous Task Force that seeks 'ways to foster and promote indigenous design in Canada'. He was co-curator of UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, a team of Indigenous architects under the leadership of Douglas Cardinal, who represented Canada at the 2018 Venice Biennale in Italy. Since January 2018, David has worked with the National Research Council of Canada to coordinate community input for housing in remote northern locations for an upcoming Technical Standards publication. He has also advised Indigenous Services Canada on the Indigenous Housing Innovation Initiative and will continue to participate in this program as a mentor. In 2019, David T Fortin Architect Inc., in joint venture with Smoke Architecture and Wanda Dalla Costa Architect, worked for the Assembly of First Nations to provide an Indigenous vision for the new Indigenous People's Space in Ottawa. He was also design architect for the Gabriel Dumont Institute expansion in Saskatoon, working with Edwards Edwards McEwen Architects, which opened in 2019. 

David was the inaugural Associate Director of the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute and was the Director of the McEwen School of Architecture from 2018-2021.


  • PhD, University of Edinburgh
  • MArch, University of Calgary
  • BA, University of Saskatchewan


Métis Design Topics

Indigenous Design

Science-Fiction and Architecture

Climate Change and Design

Systems Thinking

Film and Architecture

Speculative Thinking in Architecture


Science North Community Patrnership Award (with colleagues)

Teaching Award of Excellence, Montana State University (student nominated)

Named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Calgary Architecture Program

PhD nominated for RIBA Outstanding Research Award



ARCH 5525 - Indigenous Design ("The architecture of the great connector", working with Elder Marcel Labelle)

ARCH 0300 - Co-op 2

Graduate Thesis Advising

Previous - Laurentian University

ARCH 1505 - Design Studio 1 (Place 1)

ARCH 1515 - Design Studio 2 (Place 2, including design-build of ice fishing huts)

ARCH 2306 - Design for Climate Change [introduction to sustainable design]

ARCH 2505 - Design Studio 3 (Landscape 1)

ARCH 2515 - Design Studio 4 (Landscape 2)

ARCH 3505 - Design Studio 5 (Northern Building 1)

ARCH 5525 - Indigenous Design ("Architectural Listening", working with Batchewana First Nation)

Previous - Montana State University and University of Edinburgh

Years 1-3 Undergraduate Design Studios (including specific focus on the following: Motility in Architecture [3rd year], Space Place Non-place [3rd year], Growing Place - Marketecture [3rd year], Opportunities in Draw-mation [2nd year], Landscape [2nd year}, Material and Presence [2nd Year], Point Line Plane [1st year]

Graduate Studios (Including the following: "Agile City" - Vertical Systems Thinking for Nairobi, and "Mass Homing" - Farmworker Housing in Washington State)

Graduate Seminars (Media and Culture, Architecture and Film, The Future and Architectural Speculation, URL [Urban-Rural-Lab], The Right to the City, Push/Pull Kenya Housing Seminar, Straw Bale Construction)

Graduate Thesis Advising