The Canadian Encyclopedia credits Douglas Cardinal with “creating an indigenous style of Canadian architecture, characterized by gracious organic forms, which continually challenged the most advanced engineering standards.”
Internationally recognized, Douglas Cardinal cites an affinity to nature, both human and the natural world, as a source of inspiration. He begins each project with a Vision Session, a creative process exploring the potential structure as if it were living organism.
The result includes Alberta landmarks such as the St. Albert Civic and Cultural Centre, Grande Prairie Regional College, Edmonton’s TELUS Space Sciences Centre, the Ponoka Provincial Building and St. Mary’s Church in Red Deer. But his work goes far beyond Alberta. He designed the spectacular Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec – across the river from the Parliament Buildings and did the original designs for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
While his buildings are recognized for their spiritual, natural qualities, Cardinal is also a pioneer of computer-aided drafting and design systems.
While Cardinal lives in Ottawa, “Alberta is always my home” he says. “This is where I have my roots and some wonderful friends who supported me as a young artist so that I could build a solid foundation in my profession.”
Douglas Cardinal is an Officer of the Order of Canada, recipient of the Canada Council Molson Prize for the Arts, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award and the Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He is also a recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts and the Golden Jubilee Medal. He has been granted 21 honorary doctorates.