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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.
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
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 email@example.com. To contact the studio for consulting, project and employment related inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Vitra Design Museum
Digital Talk “Botany and Building” with Julia Watson
Julia Watson explores the technologies of indigenous peoples. Her book »Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism« presents numerous examples and combines the perspective of design and architecture with traditional knowledge about botany and biodiversity. In conversation with Viviane Stappmanns, curator of the exhibition »Garden Futures: Designing with Nature«, she adresses how traditional knowledge about botany and nature can enrich our gardens and our lives. Talk in the context of the exhibition Garden Futures: Designing with Nature 25.03.2023 – 03.10.2023 Vitra Design Museum More information: https://www.design-museum.de/garden-futures/en An exhibition by the Vitra Design Museum, the Wüstenrot Foundation, and the Nieuwe Instituut. #VDMGardenFutures The talk was recorded in May 2023. Edit: David Pujadas Bosch
Global Lecture Series: Lo TEK Design by Radical Indigenism
Contemporary designers understand the urgency of reducing humanity’s negative environmental impact, yet most perpetuate a dependence upon of technology that relies upon the exploitation of nature. The justification of this has been the confluence of humanism, colonialism, and racism, which allowed the intellectuals of the European Enlightenment to construct a mythology of technology that ignored local wisdom and indigenous innovation, deeming it primitive. 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 in technology. It is sophisticated and designed to work sustainably with complex ecosystem. - - - ETH Social Media Links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eth/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ethzurich/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/eth_en LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/school/eth-zurich/ https://www.ethz.ch
The Klosters Forum
TKF22: Reconnecting with nature through the way we build
Erica Blair, Associate Director at Burning Man Projects Julia Watson, Designer, activist, academic and author Sarah Ichioka, Co-Author of Flourish: Design Paradigms for Our Planetary Emergency Chaired by Hattie Hartman, Sustainability Editor at The Architects' Journal
What Design Can Do
What indigenous innovations can teach us | Julia Watson
Designer, activist, and academic, Julia Watson is a leading expert on indigenous technologies. Her new book with Taschen, Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism is a bestseller and has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Dwell, Architectural Digest, The Washington Post, just to name a few. Julia teaches Urban Design at Harvard Graduate School of Design and Columbia University. She’s the Principal of Julia Watson, a landscape and urban design studio with a focus on indigenous design, and co-director of A Future Studio, a collective of eco-conscious designers. She has written for an array of platforms including ArchDaily, Blueprint, loARCH and Kerb, as well as co-author of A Spiritual Guide to Bali’s UNESCO World Heritage. This year she will be speaking at TED, COP 26, Venice Biennale and Dubai Expo 2020. What Design Can Do Live What Design Can Do organises annual conferences on design and innovation in different cities across the world. With a shot of positivity we facilitate unique exchanges through an international line-up of visionary speakers and interactive workshops. Each WDCD Live event is a bee hive of change makers from a multi-disciplinary background, where connections are made and a cross pollination of ideas take place. From makers to marketeers, designers to diplomats, activists to architects, and more. Learn more here: https://www.whatdesigncando.com/wdcd-live-events/
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.
The Symbiocene | Our Time on Earth
Newly commissioned for Our Time on Earth, a major new exhibition at the Barbican Centre, the immersive installation The Symbiocene was revealed recently. Working with architect and sustainability expert Smith Mordak and Buro Happold, artist Julia Watson invited friends from three Indigenous communities to share their knowledge of building technologies that work with nature. The installation was created through an iterative series of exchanges with members of the War Khasi community in the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya, the Subak community of farmers in Bali, and the Ma’dan community of southern Iraq. Using these talks and projection mappings, the exhibition demonstrated how learnings from Indigenous cultures could tackle upcoming climate issues including rising sea levels, rising temperatures in urban communities and water scarcity. [Caption courtesy of the Buro Happold Linkedin Page]
Kultur Symposium Weimar
Looking Ahead to 2099: What kind of world will our grandchildren and great-grandchildren live in?
© TAU 16. June 17:40-18:35 CEST If we look towards the past, it soon becomes clear how radically the world has changed since the time in which our grandparents and great-grandparents grew up. Similarly, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will one day look back on our present as a past that feels infinitely distant and no longer has much in common with their lives. The Kultursymposium Weimar ventures a look ahead to 2099: will we all only work fifteen hours a week because machines will take over most of the tasks for us, or because we will have finally recognized that we need to rethink the concept of work?
Douglas Rushkoff in conversation with Julia Watson @ IMPAKT Festival 2020
Douglas Rushkoff was named one of the “world’s ten most influential intellectuals” by MIT. For the IMPAKT Festival he talks to anthropologist, environmental activist and landscape designer Julia Watson about her new book LO-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism, which offers a new take on technology. What can we learn from this ancient knowledge? Which solutions can it provide us to survive the climate crisis? How do we create a space for natural systems in a world dominated by digital technology and capitalism? We apologise for the missing screen images in the first few minutes. Discover the entire programme at: https://impakt.nl/festival/2020/programme/ ========================================= WEBSITE: www.impakt.nl TWITTER: www.twitter.com/ImpaktFestival FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/impaktfestival INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/impaktfestival
Whole Earth Revision: Panel @ IMPAKT Festival 2020
Panel discussion with: Julia Watson, Chihiro Geuzebroek and Bram Büscher Moderator: Hasna El Maroudi at the IMPAKT Festival 2020 Zero Footprint. In the 1960s the American counterculture magazine Whole Earth Catalog presented a self-sufficient, ecological lifestyle for the future, in which both ancient methods and the latest technologies would play a role. Fifty years later we might wonder: is it even possible to develop sustainable, environment-friendly technologies that can serve everybody? And how can we scale-up these technologies on a global level? We need an inclusive, holistic approach to bring about structural change. ========================================= WEBSITE: www.impakt.nl TWITTER: www.twitter.com/ImpaktFestival FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/impaktfestival INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/impaktfestival
Space Talks #010: Julia Watson on Indigenous Technologies and Lo Tek Sustainable Design Solutions
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_/
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
How to build a resilient future using ancient wisdom | Julia Watson
Visit http://TED.com to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. In her global exploration of Indigenous design systems, architect Julia Watson researches enduring innovations that could help us counter the challenges of climate change. From floating villages to living root bridges that strengthen over time, Watson introduces us to some of these resilient solutions -- and shows how they can teach us to design with nature, instead of against it. The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You're welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know. For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), submit a Media Request here: http://media-requests.TED.com Follow TED on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TEDTalks Like TED on Facebook: http://facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://youtube.com/TED
Julia Watson: Sacred places
Julia Watson explains why it is so important to preserve environmentally sensitive sites and ecosystems around the world while considering the interests and participation of local inhabitants. "I am an architect and I am interested in preserving these sacred places."
Lansing and Watson: Water temples forever
Steve Lansing, a senior fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, is helping preserve the centuries-old water-temple system in Bali that distributes water from a volcanic lake to over two hundred farming villages. Lansing and landscape architect Julia Watson are working with the people of Bali to craft a plan to enable tourists to explore the area and preserve it. Watson says the idea is to protect "the most resilient system and the most bio-diverse agro ecosystem known to man."
Saga Dawa is a visual essay of a month long pilgrimage through the transforming landscapes of the Tibet Autonomous Region, to the world's holiest mountain, Kailash. On the fifteenth day of the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar, the Saga Dawa festival is held in the golden valley of Tarbouchen, celebrating Buddhas birth, death and attainment of Nirvana. Globilization and its associated changes are having a high-speed impact on this remote landscape, causing irreversible changes to the Tibetan culture and to environmental systems that have potentially vast climatological ramifications for the global community.
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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