Designer, activist, academic,
and author of Lo—TEK,
Design by Radical Indigenism.
A leading expert of Lo—TEK nature-based technologies for climate-resilience.
Her eponymously named studio brings creative and conceptual, interdisciplinary thinking to urban projects and corporate clients interested in systemic and sustainable change. Julia regularly teaches urban design at Harvard and Columbia University.
2028 Olympic Gateway
Location: El Segundo, LA
Project Team: MIIM Design + Julia Watson
Client: City of El Segundo
Landlocked at one of the prominent spaces of Southern California, El Segundo is one of the main cities that one witnesses upon their arrival to LA.
Filled with a rich historical context of land that was previously owned by corn farmers, later turned into a refinery town, through Chevron and now home to some of the world's most renowned technological and sports industry, like Boeing and the L.A. Lakers. The city’s fabrication is now obsolete and in need of a vision for the future. El Segundo Gateway is the first representation, a symbolic entrance, introducing everything the city represents: engaging, inspiring + playful.
“Flight” is a gateway, artwork, and community gathering place, sited at the threshold of LAX airport, the City of El Segundo, and the Imperial Highway. “Flight” is a place inclusive of day and night activations. Through planting and lighting, the gateway extends, forming an ecological runway to the Pacific Ocean. This diurnal photoreceptive pollinator corridor is intended to regenerate the indigenous habitat of the threatened, native Blue Butterfly. Our vision engages the spectacle of the airport, the gateway, the butterfly, the community who inhabit and circulate through the site, and the ecological regeneration of indigenous flora and fauna using technology in a contemporary setting.