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Julia Watson. Lo—TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism

50Edition: EnglishAvailability: In Stock
Enter Lo—TEK, a design movement building on indigenous philosophy and vernacular infrastructure to generate sustainable, resilient, nature-based technology. Spanning 18 countries from Peru and the Philippines to Tanzania and Iran, this book explores millennia-old human ingenuity on how to live in symbiosis with nature.
Hardcover, Swiss binding with open spine6.7 x 9.6 in.2.36 lb420 pages
“If we can transform our relationship with the planet, we might actually get somewhere – and Lo—TEK provides 400 pages of inspiration.”
“A beautiful work combining a little hard science and a lot of romanticism.”
The World of Interiors
“Can ancient fixes save our crisis-torn world?… [LoTEK. Design by Radical Indigenism] is the result of a decade of travelling to some of the most remote regions on the planet, interviewing anthropologists, scientists and tribe members. [Watson] carefully documented their indigenous innovations using the landscape architect’s language of plans, cross-sections and exploded isometric diagrams to explain clearly how they work.”
The Guardian
“Examples of centuries-old design that combat climate change.”
Lo—TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism provides a blueprint for sustainable architecture in the 21st century.”
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
“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.”
Julia Watson. Lo—TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism

Julia Watson. Lo—TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism


The Power of Lo—TEK

A global exploration of nature-based technology

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, Julia Watson explores thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from 18 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.

The tactile reading experience of Lo—TEK reflects the ingenuity of carefully selected projects with sophisticated design details: copper highlights the value of ancient knowledge, a cardboard hardcover echoes rawness, and the Swiss binding showcases an open spine and reveals the construction of the book, just as the book discloses hidden technological knowledge.
The editor and author

Designer, activist, academic and author Julia Watson is the principal of her eponymously named design studio working at the intersection of anthropology, ecology, innovation, and collaborates as Watson Salembier, a full-service landscape & urban design studio specializing in rewilding. Julia also lectures and consults with Fortune 500 companies to align their missions with global sustainability goals, by designing and implementing systemic change for their Sustainability, Innovation & Futures sectors. She regularly 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 ioARCH, Topos, Seacities, LAF, The Philosophy of Dumbness, 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.

Julia Watson. Lo—TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism
Hardcover, Swiss binding with open spine17 x 24.4 cm1.07 kg420 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-7818-9

Edition: English
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9 Ratings

A very nice book, overall

Maria G.,October 27, 2021
Nice pictures, nice drawings, and clear explaination: a beautiful journey into native architecture


Allegra,October 27, 2021
So interesting and inspiring, very well printed and crafted.

A must have for lovers of architecture

Kassandra,October 27, 2021
Beautifully bound and highly insightful

Unique and beautiful book

Diane,October 27, 2021
Inspired choices and photography. A lot to ponder for those interested in Passive House, biomimicry, and other design spaces inspired by (and living within) the natural elements.

Amazing book

Axel,October 27, 2021
Absolutely stunning book full of philosophy