Photo of Joseph Kunkel

Joseph Kunkel

Principal and Director of SNCDL
Santa Fe, NM, USA

A citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, Joseph Kunkel is a community designer and educator, focused on sustainable development practices for Indigenous communities. As a Principal at MASS Design Group, Joseph directs the Sustainable Native Communities Design Lab in O’ghe P’oghe (Santa Fe, New Mexico). 

Joseph’s work includes exemplary Indian housing projects, such as the the Wa-Di Housing Project, a 41-unit affordable housing development supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and ArtPlace America. His research on affordable housing was developed into emerging best practices, leading to an online Healthy Homes Road Map for tribal housing development, funded by HUD’s PD&R Office. 

In 2019, Joseph was awarded an Obama Fellowship in recognition of his work with Indigenous communities. In 2018, he received a Rauschenberg SEED grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to expand his work in arts based community development and a 2019 Creative Capital Award for his work on the Northern Cheyenne Healing Trail. 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. 

The University of Maryland’s Alumni Association awarded Joseph the 2021 inaugural Elaine Johnson Coates Award. Most recently, Joseph was named a 2022 Rubinger Community Fellow by the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC). He is a past recipient of the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship.

Joseph holds a Master of Architecture & Urban Design from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the University of Hartford, where he graduated magna cum laude.