On February 7th 2023, Jason Surkan, Métis architect, researcher, and founder of SOLO Architecture offered a unique hands-on workshop exploring traditional Métis knotting and lashing patterns/techniques. This workshop taught students how to develop various uses of rope to produce expressive and well-detailed assemblies and material understanding. Additionally, curriculum offered is in regards to a land-based approach to architecture that underpins SOLO’s approach to architecture.

The work being shared is part of an installation project that Jason is preparing for the 18th International Architecture Biennale in Venice Italy (2023) with professors Shawn Bailey and Lancelot Coar. Students enjoyed a hands-on learning experience that allows them space to explore new approaches to architecture and contribute to a meaningful project that is being exhibited at the Biennale this Spring!

“I always enjoy spending time at the U of School of Architecture. Today Metis architect and One House Many Nations Jason Surkan did a fab workshop. The first part was sharing some of his work then demonstrating different knots and cordage techniques and natural materials and the second part was students implementing them on local spruce and willow structures they constructed. The last part of the day we worked on our Venice Biennale exhibit. Thanks to Shawn Bailey and Lancelot Coar for the invite.” –  Dr. Alex Wilson

Jason Surkan, Architect SAA, B.A.S.., M.Arch., MRAIC Born and raised near Kistapinānihk/Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Jason Surkan is a son, grandson, great-grandson, step-father, uncle and brother. His maternal family ties are from the Red River Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. He holds a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (B.A.S. 2016) from Carleton University and a Masters of Architecture (M.Arch. 2018) from the University of Manitoba. Jason is a member of the RAIC’s Indigenous Task Force in Architecture. As a registered Architect with the Saskatchewan Association of Architects, Jason owns and operates SOLO (Situated On Land Office) Architecture on Treaty 6 Territory in the Lakehead Area. Jason carries experience and knowledge in Cultural Bridging, Sustainable, Adaptive Reuse, and Community Engagement projects.