Joseph Kunkel

Principal 

MASS Design Group 

Santa Fe, NM 


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Joseph Kunkel, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, is the Director of the Sustainable Native Communities Design Lab and the Principal of the MASS Design Group based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  As a community designer and  educator, his work explores how architecture, planning, and construction  can be leveraged to positively impact the built and unbuilt  environments within Indian Country. Joseph’s early work focused on the  research of exemplary Native American Indian housing projects and  processes nationwide. This research work has developed into emerging  best practices within Indian Country, leading to an online Healthy Homes  Road Map for affordable tribal housing development, funded by HUD’s  Policy, Development, and Research Office. From 2013-2016 Joseph lead the  development of a 41-unit Low-Income-Housing-Tax-Credit development,  which started with an Our Town grant funded by the National Endowments  for the Arts. In 2019 Joseph was awarded an Obama Foundation Fellowship  for his work exploring how to create transformational change through  design processes that align with indigenous values and honors the  worldviews of indigenous populations within North America. Joseph is a  Fellow of the inaugural class of the Civil Society Fellowship, a  partnership of ADL and The Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen  Global Leadership Network.