Julia Watson. Lo-TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism

Julia Watson. Lo-TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism

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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 remain 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.

With a foreword by anthropologist Wade Davis and four chapters spanning Mountains, Forests, Deserts, and Wetlands, this book explores thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from 20 countries including 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.
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Product details

  • Book | 420 pages
  • 170 x 244 x 27.94mm | 1,073g
  • Cologne, Germany
  • English
  • 3836578182
  • 9783836578189
  • 2,699

Review Text

"Die Lo-TEK Entwicklungen könnte man allesamt zum Weltkulturerbe erklären, einige gehören für die UNESCO bereits dazu... Mit Respekt nähert sich Julia Watson indigenen Kulturen... Wir hätten die Chance, von allen Kulturen zu lernen: das Beste aus aller Welt... Ihr Buch versteht Watson als eine Art Werkzeugkiste für diesen nächsten großen Schritt der Veränderung."
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Review quote

"We rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature." "The result of more than 20 years of travelling to research the original smart settlements, through an architect's lens." "How can we live more sustainably? Indigenous groups have some ideas."
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About Julian Watson

Academic and author Julia Watson is the Principal and Founder of Julia Watson Studio, an experiential, landscape, and urban design studio, as well as a Director and Co-Founder of 'A Future Studio', a collective of conscious designers with an ethos towards global ecological change. She teaches Urban Design at Harvard and Columbia University. After graduating from Harvard with the highest award for her work on conservation and spiritual landscapes, she has been published in Nakhara Journal, Water Urbanisms East, World Heritage Sites and Living Culture of Indonesia, and co-authored the Spiritual Guide to Bali's UNESCO World Heritage with Dr. J. Stephen Lansing. Piera Wolf and Claudine Eriksson are W-E studio, a multidisciplinary creative studio based in Zurich and New York that strives to bridge time and space between these constantly evolving and contrasting cities. Piera and Claudine have individually been recognized by publications and organizations including The New York Times, Dazed Digital, Rolling Stone, Slanted, and many more. Talks, teaching, and workshop engagements include the New York School of Visual Arts, HTW Berlin, Google Creative Lab, and the Zurich University of the Arts.
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