We find it significant to note that our studio is located in the Mission District, a neighborhood whose name commemorates the institution (Mission Dolores) that spearheaded the systemic and intentional genocide of Ramaytush Ohlone peoples across the Bay Area. While the federal government still denies Ohlone tribes legal recognition, The Office of Ordinary Things is adjacent to the American Indian Cultural District, which the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recognized in 2020.
While we strive to increase awareness and catalyze change within the design profession, indigenous people around the world strive continuously to protect key ecosystems and agency over their ways of life. Their traditions and knowledge serve as foundations and inspiration for sustainable practices and innovations across industries, often without credit. Indigenous people are regulary killed on the frontlines of climate activism. We recognize them as the original and rightful stewards of this land, and as leaders and collaborators in the vast fight against the climate crisis. We also recognize the distinct design lineage and visual culture of indigenous peoples that the contemporary, largely European- and Modernist-informed design world has systemically delegitimized and marginalized.
Land acknowledgments are not replacements for the advocacy, rights, safety, sovereignty, or financial resources indigenous groups need and deserve, and does not absolve our studio of its context within larger legacies of oppression and colonialism. We struggle with what to say, how to say it, and what actions constitute effective reparations. Accountability is an ongoing process that must continue beyond this acknowledgement. Ultimately, despite the shortcomings of a simple statement, we feel it is still important to specifically name the people whose land our business stands on: the Yelamu Ohlone.