Thursday, July 9, 2009

First American Design Studio at DSGW Architects


John F. Scott, Partner

Michael Laverdure joins DSGW Architects to lead design efforts
for DSGW Architects’ First American Design Studio

DULUTH, MINNESOTA [July 7, 2009] - DSGW Architects, a community oriented firm, welcomes Michael Laverdure to lead design efforts for the recently formed First American Design Studio. With over 12 years of experience and a demonstrated commitment in the principle that he contribute to the betterment of First American communities, Michael was a natural choice to be the design director of the studio.

Michael graduated in 1996 from North Dakota State University’s College of Architecture and is currently finishing his architectural registration exams. Once complete, Michael will be one of a select few Native American Architects in the country. He recently passed his LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) accreditation exams and is also an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, located in North Dakota.

Over the last 30 years, DSGW Architects has provided services to over fifteen Native American Communities throughout the country. To sustain and focus DSGW’s collaboration with First American communities, DSGW has created the First American Design Studio within the firm that focuses on Native American community development. One of the guiding principles of the First American Design Studio is dedicated to the advancement of opportunities for Native Americans to become fully engaged in the design and construction of projects. In addition to Michael Laverdure, our team members include technicians and construction administrators who are enrolled American Indians of tribes located in the midwest.

“We are very excited to have Mike join our firm,” said John Scott, partner of DSGW. “He brings experience and creativity that will broaden the services DSGW offers through the First American Design Studio. This studio will allow us to become even more engaged and aid in the development of sustainable communities within tribal bands. Under Mike’s leadership, our cultural design process has been tailored to exceed the expectations of our clients.”

“DSGW’s commitment to First American communities caught my attention,” explains Michael Laverdure. “DSGW’s participation and commitment to their Native clientele is superior. My mother, Betty Laverdure told me, “Always use your talents for the betterment of the whole, before you think of your own needs. As you do good, good will come back to you.” This has taught me to become a designer who listens to clientele closely and then translate that into architecture. Listening, along with my heritage has given me unique insight into cultural design. It is also, coincidentally, in-line with DSGW’s belief of building sustainable communities and enriching them through architecture.”

Since the development of the First American Design Studio, DSGW has been awarded the opportunity to plan and design the following projects: University of Minnesota-Duluth American Indian Learning Resource Center (Duluth, Minnesota), Spirit Lake Casino Addition and Renovation (St. Michael, North Dakota), Bad River Health and Wellness Center (Odanah, Wisconsin), Lac du Flambeau Health Center and Dental (Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin), as well as the Ohkay Owingah Old Town Development in New Mexico.

About DSGW Architects
Established in 1938, DSGW is a Minnesota firm offering architecture, planning, and interior design services to communities of every size and character. Its 30+ member team has offices in Duluth, Virginia, Grand Rapids, and St.Paul. For more information, visit

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