Design by Radical Indigenism Julia Watson - 0

Design by Radical Indigenism Julia Watson

Location: Virtual 

Date and Time: Tuesday, January 26, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM EST

Three hundred years ago, intellectuals of the European Enlightenment constructed a mythology of technology. Influenced by a confluence of humanism, colonialism, and racism, this mythology ignored local wisdom and indigenous innovation, deeming it primitive. Today, we have slowly come to realize that the legacy of this mythology is haunting us. Designers understand the urgency of reducing humanity’s negative environmental impact, yet perpetuate the same mythology of technology that relies on exploiting nature. Responding to climate change by building hard infrastructures and favoring high-tech homogenous design, we are ignoring millennia old knowledge of how to live in symbiosis with nature. Without implementing soft systems that use biodiversity as a building block, designs remains inherently unsustainable.

Lo–TEK, derived from Traditional Ecological Knowledge, is a cumulative body of multigenerational knowledge, practices, and beliefs, countering the idea that indigenous innovation is primitive and exists isolated from technology. It is sophisticated and designed to sustainably work with complex ecosystems. In four chapters—Mountains, Forests, Deserts, and Wetlands—this book explores thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from places like Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. We rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature.

Julia Watson is a landscape designer, an educator, and a leading expert in the field of Lo–TEK nature-based technologies for the built environment and climate-resilient design, and is the author of Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism (2019).

The presentation will be followed by a conversation and Q & A with respondent Elisa Iturbe.

This event is free and open to the public. Please register in advance.