A Family Heirloom Helps Architecture Professor Chris Cornelius Imagine a New Future for His Field

As ongoing inspiration for how to bring Indigenous experiences into the built environment, Cornelius looks to the lived-in beauty of his great-grandfather’s work gloves.
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They’ve always had an impact on me because they are sort of this mixture of beauty and utility. In Indigenous cultures, you would make gloves that are highly ornamental—regalia for ceremonies. And then there are work gloves that you would pick up to dig a hole. These sit in the middle of that. As a designer, I’m trying to do a similar thing. I want to make things that work very well but are also unapologetically beautiful.

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