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Joseph Kunkel

Design Director, SNC Design Lab 
MASS Design Group 
Santa Fe, NM 

Joseph Kunkel, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, is the Director of the Sustainable Native Communities Design Lab based in Santa Fe, New Mexico operating within MASS Design Group. 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.