Summer Institute II: Indigenous Architectures | Faculty member: Joar Nango 

August 6 to 16, 2019
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art | 1, 460 Portage Ave | Winnipeg MB | Canada

The Summer Institute is an international post-graduate artist research program for professional artists and thinkers working in all disciplines and media. In the 2019 edition, Plug In ICA hosted two iterations of the Summer Institute.

Norwegian- Sámi artist/architect, Joar Nango, was the lead faculty and facilitator for the second intensive session of the Summer Institute. Nango focused on Indigenous architectures with a week of intensive knowledge sharing through a series of lecture programming followed by a week of production. The second session started August 6th and ran to August 16th.  Foregrounding Indigenous approaches to design and alternative models of social space, Nango led participants through a series of texts, discussions, guest lectures, workshops, and studio time for the first week, engaging local, Winnipeg-based, Indigenous architects and thinkers. Participants were encouraged to produce individually, with the possibility to work with Nango on a new piece by the Winnipeg Rivers, generating a reciprocal engagement to producing work.  The seminar and workshop was open to visual artists of all kinds as well as writers, critics and scholars.

Free accompanying public events:

Thursday, August 8 | 6pm |

Panel Discussion with Ryan Gorrie, David Thomas, Cheyenne Thomas

Tuesday, August 13 | 6pm |

Lecture by Chris Cornelius

For participant bios please see here.

This critical discursive opportunity took place in Plug In ICA’s purpose-built facilities, with an adjoining workshop, art research library, gallery, bookshop and café. Plug In ICA is located at the heart of downtown Winnipeg and adjacent to the Winnipeg Art Gallery within walking distance to various amenities for new visitors to the city.

See our Summer Institute Blog for interviews, and images of past Institutes.

Joar Nango is an architect, builder, artist and self-publisher. Nango’s work often explores the division between design, architecture and visual art and uses improvisation as method and process. Nango has been part of a number of exhibition projects throughout Canada and elsewhere. Among which includes, the Ottawa Art Gallery, Vancouver’s Western Front, Gallery Deluxe in Halifax, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, Norway and Sydhavn Station in Copenhagen, Denmark. He recently presented European Everything at Documenta14 in Athens and Kassel in 2017. As well as facilitating the Summer Institute, Nango was one of the participating artists for the 2019 iteration of Winnipeg’s public art project STAGES.


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are on Treaty One Territory, the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, Métis, Cree, Dakota, Dene, and Oji-Cree Nations.

Our Summer Institute was generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation who has made a generous commitment to fund multiple years of the program. We were also extremely thankful to the Johnston Group for subsidizing the tuition of all of the participants accepted.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director’s Circle. You all make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all. This support enables us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at

For more information on this and our other education programs, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043