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Indigenous technologies “could change the way we design cities” – Dezeen

Indigenous communities are pioneers of technologies that offer solutions to climate change, according to designer and environmentalist Julia Watson.

Bheri Wastewater Aquaculture is a natural wastewater treatment system that cleans half of Kolkata's sewage
Bheri Wastewater Aquaculture is a natural wastewater treatment system that cleans half of Kolkata’s sewage
Amy Frearson
Indigenous communities are pioneers of technologies that offer solutions to climate change, according to designer and environmentalist Julia Watson.In her new book, LO–TEK Design by Radical Indigenism, Watson argues that tribal communities, seen by many as primitive, are highly advanced when it comes to creating systems in symbiosis with the natural world.

“There are so many examples,” she told Dezeen. “They have increased biodiversity, they’re producing food, they’re flood mitigating, they’re resilient in terms of foreshore conditions, they’re cleaning water, they’re carbon sequestering.”

“They have all of the natural qualities that we’re really interested in, in terms of ecosystem services, but they’re completely constructed by man,” she added.

Progress requires a new toolkit

Watson believes that the tech industry is more limited in scope than people realise, based solely on a concept of high-tech that developed after the industrial revolution.

She calls for this industry to adopt some of the principles of indigenous design, many of which are thousands of years old, to help cities around the world to not only mitigate the impact of climate change, but to be resilient for the future.

“I have a really clear vision for what the middle ground could be, how we could start to explore these technologies and think about how they could change the way we design cities,” she said.

Read on >>> Source: Dezeen Julia Watson promotes indigenous design with her LO–TEK concept

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