Photo of Joseph Kunkel

Joseph Kunkel

Principal and Director of SNCDL
Santa Fe, NM, USA

Joseph, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, is the Director of MASS's Sustainable Native Communities Design Lab 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.

Joseph’s portfolio includes exemplary Indian housing projects and processes nationwide, including emerging best practices and a web-based “Healthy Homes Road Map” for tribal housing development, funded by the Department of Housing & Urban Developments’ 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, and led to an ArtPlace America grant award.

In 2019, Joseph was awarded an Obama Fellowship for his work with Indigenous communities. He also received a 2018 Rauschenberg SEED grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and a 2019 Creative Capital Award. 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. Most recently, Joseph was awarded the 2021 inaugural Elaine Johnson Coates Award, by the University of Maryland’s Alumni Association.