Please note that this program will be held as a webinar over Zoom. Registrants will receive a Zoom link one day prior to the lecture.The ICAA, INTBAU, and the Prince’s Foundation are pleased to announce a collaborative series of high-level online talks on ‘The Architecture of Place’.Perhaps now more than ever before, we are all aware of the built environment that surrounds us, and of the impacts it has on the health of individuals, communities, and the planet. The Architecture of Place series brings together the established and emerging voices working to create a better built future. You can find more information on the full series here.
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 this talk, Julia Watson will discuss her research into thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from places like Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. She will speak on how we can rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature.
Landscape designer and educator, Julia Watson is a leading expert on indigenous technologies. Her bestselling book with Taschen, Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Monocle, Architectural Digest, and more. Regularly tea-ching at Harvard and Columbia University, Julia’s studio work involves landscape and urban de-sign, along with public speaking and consulting with brands on sustainability. In her studio, she collaborates a horticulturist as Watson Salembier, with a focus on rewilding and has just com-pleted the summer gardens for Rockefeller Center using a native plant palette inspired by the American meadow. Julia has written for Topos, Landscape Architecture Frontier, ioARCH, Kerb, Water Urbanisms East and co-authored A Spiritual Guide to Bali’s UNESCO World Heritage. She’s a 2020 TED speaker, and a fellow of Summit REALITY, Pop!tech, & The Christensen Fund. Born in Australia, she regularly treks across the globe.
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