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Expertise / Services

Consulting with Forbes 100 global corporations to align with global sustainability goals by designing and  implementing systemic change for Sustainability, Innovation & Futures sectors.

Team

Julia -  Landscape & Urban Design, Nature-Based Culture & Innovation 
Marie - Landscape Design & Horticulture 
Jaime - Urban Design, Architecture & Research 
Xinyue - Urban Design & Research 
Avery - Research & Writing 
Hala - Research & Writing 
Naeema - Research & Writing

Contact

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the studio is working remotely. To contact the studio by mail please send to 63 South Oxford Street, Ground Floor, Brooklyn, New York, 11217. To contact Julia for speaking, writing, interview requests, please email inquiry@juliawatson.com. To contact the studio for consulting, project and employment related inquiries, please email info@juliawatson.com.

Upcoming / Book

Julia Watson LLC has pledged to donate a percentage of profits in support of the indigenous communities in Lo—TEK, Design by Radical Indigenism, specifically: the Living Bridge Foundation in Pynursla in the East Khasi Hills of India, the Nature Iraq organization working with the the Ma'dan of the Southern Wetlands of Iraq, Give A Little Ektu Deen Foundation in the Eastern Kolkata Wetlands of India, and BEEs working with the Tofinu fishermen of Benin

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Videos

Design by Radical Indigenism
01:01:49
ClassicistORG

Design by Radical Indigenism

Researcher Julia Watson discusses her research into thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from places like Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. This video is part of the series “The Architecture of Place,” a collaboration between the ICAA, INTBAU, and The Prince's Foundation. 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: https://www.classicist.org/the-architecture-of-place/ About the Course: 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 hosted on December 15, 2020, Julia Watson discusses 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 speaks on how we can rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature. Sponsors: The ICAA would like to thank The Benton Family Foundation for its generous support of this lecture series, along with series sponsor McCrery Architects. Additional thanks to INTBAU's supporters for this series, Fairfax & Sammons, ADAM Architecture, and Size Group. Additional thanks to The Prince's Foundation's supporter, Mr. Paul Beirne. About our channel: This course is presented by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, a national nonprofit promoting the practice, understanding, and appreciation of classical design. To watch more online classes like this one, or to become a member and support our educational mission, visit https://www.classicist.org/ .
Live panel: environmental design with Julia Watson, DJ Spooky and more | Terreform x VDF | Dezeen
01:21:42
Dezeen

Live panel: environmental design with Julia Watson, DJ Spooky and more | Terreform x VDF | Dezeen

VDF has teamed up with Terreform One to bring together authors Mitch Joachim, Julia Watson, Eran Chen and Paul Miller in a live discussion about sustainable design in a post-coronavirus world. The four authors will discuss their work live on VDF today at 5:00pm UK time. Mitch Joachim, co-founder of New York architecture research platform Terreform One, will discuss his new book Design With Life: Biotech Architecture and Resilient Cities. Designer and environmentalist Julia Watson will talk about Lo-TEK, Design by Radical Indigenism. Eran Chen, founding principal of New York architect ODA, will speak about Unboxing New York. Paul Miller, AKA DJ Spooky, will discuss Digital Fictions: The Future of Storytelling. The discussion has been put together as a reflection of Earth Day yesterday. "It’s time to use the power of design to combat planetary extinction,” says Joachim, whose non-profit and research organization Terreform One looks at how design practices can cultivate biological processes and create resilient answers to tomorrow’s most pressing urban challenges. "We are always looking for new narratives, where nature can provide solutions and connect us to our surroundings," said Eran Chen of ODA. "It's time to look at new typologies to reconnect society". "We need to learn how to live symbiotically with nature and stop designing it into extinction," said Julia Watson, whose book explores how technologies developed by indigenous communities could offer solutions to climate change. "What some see as advanced technology I often see as tone-deaf and two-dimensional. We can’t design around nature, we must learn to design with it." "There are so many examples," Watson told Dezeen in a recent interview about her book Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism. "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." Read more on Dezeen: https://www.dezeen.com/vdf/ WATCH NEXT: Live interview with Ron Arad - https://youtu.be/1-8t-lzU9JU Subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest architecture and design movies: http://bit.ly/1tcULvh Like Dezeen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dezeen/ Follow Dezeen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dezeen/ Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dezeen/ Check out our Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/dezeen/
What indigenous innovations can teach us | Julia Watson
23:59
STUDIO BONN – Contracts for earth
01:41:34
Bundeskunsthalle

STUDIO BONN – Contracts for earth

Der Talk in deutscher Sprache: https://www.facebook.com/events/1047951886141724/ Within a mere two hundred years, the capitalist way of running the economy has revealed itself as unsustainable: it is destroying its own ecological and social foundations. Indigenous economies, on the other hand, have worked for millennia – and are increasingly being discussed as solutions for coping with climate change. Studio Bonn presents three models of global cooperation that combine sustainability and social justice. The design expert Julia Watson, author of Lo-TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism, Taschen 2021, has researched indigenous architectures all over the world. To ensure that the transfer of knowledge does not lead to one-sided exploitation, she has developed a new business model: An oral smart contract, developed with experts in indigenous law, allows companies that use indigenous knowledge to share profits with the indigenous communities that originated it via blockchain. The initiative, named The Symbiocene, is currently being presented in the exhibition Our Time on Earth at the Barbican in London The diplomat and computer scientist Youssef Nassef has coordinated resilience work in the United Nations system for 23 years, after having served as a diplomat and climate change negotiator for ten years before that. Disillusioned with the impact of the post industrial-revolution war on the biosphere, he and the new Bonn-based UN initiative Resilience Frontiers are using the knowledge of writers, film directors and data analysts to gear our attitudes, thoughts and actions towards the impending destruction of the planet. On a former palm oil plantation in Lusanga, Congo, Ced’Art Tamasala and Mathieu Kasiama and the Congolese Plantation Workers’ Art League (Cercle d’art des travailleurs de plantation congolaise, CATPC) engage with the history of the colonial exploitation of palm oil and cocoa plantations. CATPC’s chocolate sculptures have been exhibited at the SculptureCenter in New York and elsewhere. The day before the Studio Bonn event, at Art Basel, CATPC and artist Renzo Martens will sell 300 NFTs of a Diviner’s Figure carved in 1931 during the Pende uprising against Belgian colonial rule and now preserved at the Virginia Museum of Art. The proceeds will be used to buy back land and revitalise cultural traditions and sustainable agriculture. In the documentary series Plantations and Museums, Tamasala and Mathieu explore the history of the sculpture and of cultural exploitation in general. STUDIO BONN. Listening to the Future Exchange Values CONTRACTS FOR EARTH with JULIA WATSON CATPC (Ced’Art Tamasala und Mathieu Kasiama with Renzo Martens) YOUSSEF NASSEF Chair: Kolja Reichert The video is a recording of Studio Bonn from 15 June 2022.
Lo—TEK
03:22
The World Around Symposium
14:14
Indigenous Technologies and Lo-TEK Sustainable Design Solutions with Julia Watson - Space Talks #010
56:10
SPACE AVAILABLE

Indigenous Technologies and Lo-TEK Sustainable Design Solutions with Julia Watson - Space Talks #010

Space Talks #010: JULIA WATSON Architect, design activist and academic Julia Watson is a leading expert on Indigenous technologies and author of Lo-TEK, Design by Radical Indigenism. She teaches urban design at Harvard and Columbia while leading her eponymous experiential, landscape and urban design studio. Watson approaches design as rewilding, by bringing the language of botany and biodiversity back to our cities. Inspired by Indigenous knowledge and plants, her portfolio of projects includes the Rockefeller Center Summer Gardens, Bali’s first UNESCO World Heritage site, the Gateway to the City of El Segundo at LAX and private estates for the owners of PACE Galleries and the artist Rashid Johnson. ---------- Space Available is a creative platform on a mission to build a sustainable future. Led by a global community of Designers, Artists, Scientists, and Environmentalists; connecting the dots between nature, design and culture. As specialists in sustainable design solutions we create concepts, products and experiences based upon the circular and regenerative principles of nature. Our holistic approach involves bio innovation, radical recycling of waste, future craft and digital communications for the new world. Our ethos is built on Education, Conversation and Collaboration; understanding that to solve complex problems we must collectively unite to learn, unlearn and share skills; creating meaningful work for people and the planet. It's our belief that the pandemic of 2020 has created a new space. A space available for us to reflect, grow and design new systems of well being. https://spaceavailable.tv/ https://www.instagram.com/space_available_/
Design by Radical Indigenism | Julia Watson
58:48
Long Now Foundation

Design by Radical Indigenism | Julia Watson

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. There is a cumulative body of multigenerational knowledge, practices, and beliefs designed to sustainably work with complex ecosystems. Watson's work reconnects with this sophisticated global body of knowledge. Julia Watson teaches Urban Design at Harvard and Columbia University and is author of Lo-TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism (02019). Her work focuses on experiential, landscape, and urban design, with an ethos towards global ecological change. 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. There is a cumulative body of multigenerational knowledge, practices, and beliefs designed to sustainably work with complex ecosystems. Watson's work reconnects with this sophisticated global body of knowledge. Julia Watson teaches Urban Design at Harvard and Columbia University and is author of Lo-TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism (02019). Her work focuses on experiential, landscape, and urban design, with an ethos towards global ecological change. "Design by Radical Indigenism" was given on September 15, 02020 as part of Long Now's Seminar series. The series was started in 02003 to build a compelling body of ideas about long-term thinking from some of the world's leading thinkers. The Seminars take place in San Francisco and are curated and hosted by Stewart Brand. To follow the talks, you can: Subscribe to our podcasts: http://longnow.org/seminars/podcast Explore the full series: http://longnow.org/seminars More ideas on long-term thinking: http://blog.longnow.org The Long Now Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to fostering long-term thinking and responsibility. Our projects include a 10,000 Year Clock, endangered language preservation, thousand year+ data storage, and Long Bets, an arena for accountable predictions. Become a Long Now member to support this series, join our community, and connect with our ongoing work to explore and deepen long-term thinking: http://longnow.org/membership Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/longnow Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/longnow Subscribe to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/longnow
TRT News Interview
00:51

Podcasts

Orbit Radio with Mike Hagan
EcoCiv Ep38 on Lo—TEK
The Slowdown Ep35 on Lo—TEK
Monocle On Design Ep454
IMPAKT Festival Interview
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