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Wanda Dalla Costa

Principal

Architect Wanda Dalla Costa (she/her) is an advocate for Indigenous peoples. She is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Northern Alberta Canada. Her role at Tawaw is to oversee Indigenous methodologies and architectural spatial innovation. Her belief in the power of architecture to contribute to the well-being and belonging of user groups, inspires her to ‘productively disrupt’ all prototypes for cultural inclusion. Her aim is to embed lifeways, worldviews and identity into every project. With a passion for design and a keen interest in the potential of Indigenous knowledge to contribute to global transformation, she works at all scales, from custom interior elements to Indigenous landscapes.

 

Before forming Tawaw Architecture Collective in 2010 she worked in Calgary for over a decade building high rise residential, commercial projects, and designing culturally-driven buildings for nations across Alberta and British Columbia.

 

Wanda is a graduate of University of Calgary (Masters of Architecture), Southern Institute of Technology (Master of Design Research in City Planning and Policy) and University of Alberta (Bachelor of Arts). She also received an Honorary Doctorate in 2023 (Athabasca University). In 2022, she was recognized as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, in 2019, she was recognized as a YBCA 100 recipient by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a list which celebrates people, organizations, and movements shifting culture through ideas, their art, and their activism. Wanda enjoys spending time with her family, traveling the world and competitive billiards.

Awards

Honorary Fellow


The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is proud to announce that Wanda Dalla Costa, a prominent Indigenous voice and practitioner in North American architecture, has been awarded honorary fellowship for 2022. Wanda Dalla Costa is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation and was the first First Nation woman to become an architect in Canada. Her firm, Tawaw Architecture Collective, is based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the director and founder of Arizona State University’s Indigenous Design Collaborative, a community-driven design and construction program that brings together tribal community members, industry and multidisciplinary teams of university students and faculty to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities. Dalla Costa is a prominent Indigenous female voice within the architectural profession–specifically within the academic sphere in North America.
Awards

YBCA's 100 Honorees: Wanda Dalla Costa


Indigenous Design Collaborative's founder and design director Wanda Dalla Costa was recognized as YBCA 100 list of change makers and cultural activists working at the intersection of art, social change and civic life.
Awards

Trailblazer Award: Wanda Dalla Costa


Presented this year as part of NZ20, the world's largest net zero conference and expo, the Trailblazer Awards celebrate leaders who are building a net zero future through their work in the carbon, energy, water, waste, transit and/or policy sectors.
Awards

St. Lawrence Center Competition Award 2023

Awards

Jeff Harnar Award
Unbuilt Architecture 2021

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