Ken Rhyne to Speak on the Respectful Infusion of Native American Culture in Architectural Design Projects

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Iowa State University is hosting a lecture titled "Native Identity in Contemporary American Indian Design" on Wednesday, April 7, 2010. Ken Rhyne, Allied AIA, is the guest speaker. Rhyne is a Principal with Urban Design Group. He is a Tuscarora Indian and a member of the American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers (AICAE). Rhyne is nationally recognized through his published works, lectures and notable projects.

Nationally-recognized Native American design expert Ken Rhyne, a Principal with Urban Design Group, will present a lecture on "Native Identity in Contemporary American Indian Design" on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 8:00 pm in the Kocimski Auditorium, College of Design at Iowa State University. Rhyne, Allied AIA, is a Tuscarora Indian and a member of the American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers (AICAE).

Rhyne has over 35 years of experience in conceptual architectural and interior design projects, including sustainable design, green architecture and the respectful infusion of Native American culture into his work. His national portfolio includes the Museum of the Seven Feathers in South Carolina, Weedon Island Preserve Educational Center in Florida, Red Hawk Casino in California and the award-winning Cultural Resources Center for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian and the Kampen Eagle Wing Center in Indiana.

"Our process of respectfully integrating the culture of a tribe into the overall design of a site and facility involves a high level of research, collaboration and consensus building," explains Rhyne. "We conduct cultural values workshops with a group of leaders designated by the tribe to determine a commonality of values. In this highly interactive process, we conduct research on images and ideas and post them for open discussion. We serve as experienced facilitators to extract and filter information in order to share it in a respectful manner without trivializing the culture. Our design solutions also pay respect to the earth as we incorporate patterns, symbols, shapes and colors that are meaningful to the tribe and tie back to the local environment."    

Rhyne is also an accomplished blues singer and harmonica player, and the Ken Rhyne Band was a Nammy (Native American Music Awards) nominee for Best Blues Album of the Year in 2003. Rhyne is a member of the Pfeiffer University Baseball Hall of Fame and was a minor league player for the Washington Senators and Texas Rangers.

Urban Design Group offers architectural, interior, planning and urban design services to its worldwide clientele from studios in Atlanta, Georgia, and Dallas, Texas. UDG's personnel work on a wide range of projects from hospitality and gaming to corporate and mixed-use. For more information, please visit http://www.urbandesigngroup.com.

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