Lo—TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism
Title: Lo—TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism
Author/Editor: Julia Watson
Design Firm: W—E studio, Piera Wolf and Claudine Eriksson
Art Director: Piera Wolf and Claudine Eriksson with Julia Watson
Book Designer: Piera Wolf and Claudine Eriksson
Jacket Designer: Piera Wolf and Claudine Eriksson
Illustrator: Berke Yazicioglu, London
Photographer: Aaron Slosberg, Adriano Jerozolimski, Agata Skowronek, Alain Schroeder, Alice Kohler, Alipio Canahua Morillo, Alireza Teimoury, Amos Chapple, Brad Lancaster, Brett Cole, Brett Kincaid, Carolyn Drake, Chema Grenda Cuti, Chloe Nahum-Claudel, Christa Moreau, Christophe Meneboeuf, Clark L. Erickson, Cristina Mittermeier, Curt Wiler, David Boerma, David Lazar, Dhrubajyoti Ghosh, Edward Rowland, Ellie Matsanova, Emily Marie Wilson, Emme Pi, Enrique Castro-Mendivil, Esme Allen, Feije Riemersma, Fiona Watson, Gary Cook, Google Earth, Gowri Varanashi, Guiziou Franck, Gustaaf Verswijver, Ida Pap, Imanol Camblor, Ivan Vdovin, Iwan Baan, Jacob Maentz, Jassim Al-Asadi, Jesse Kraft, Jesse Nusbaum, Joanne Petrina, Joseph Zummo, Karol Kozlowski, Livier Garcia, Macduff Everton, Mario Pereda, Markus Mauthe, Martin Harvey, Martin Schoeller, NASA, Nik Wheeler, Olivia Orosco, Olivier Blaise, Patrick Rogers, Pete Oxford, Peter Horree, Rajesh Dutta, Rob Kroenert, Robert Harding, Rolf Petersen, Saeed Hasaan Rashedi, Scott Warren, Stephen Foote, Steven Lansing, Timothy Allen, Tom Kennedy, Tommy Liu, Ton Koene, Ulrich Doering, Yuri Kozyrev
Production Director: Frank Goerhardt, Cologne
Production Coordinator: Marion Boschka and Katrin Engler, Cologne
Other Credits: Editorial Coordination: Florian Kobler, Berlin and Nora Dohrmann, Cologne; Copy Editor: Avery Robertson, New York; Research Assistants: Christianna Bennett, Jane Chongsuwat, Cathy DeAlmeida, Despina Linaraki, Haoron Luo, Hannah Nathans, Brittany Roy, Georgia Saxelby, Olivia Sotirochos, Wona Sung, and Despo Thoma; Student Contributions (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York): Christianna Bennett, Susan Bivone, Jaclyn Hardiman, Matthew Hickey, Chloe Mahoney, Emily Mastropietro, Kieran Martin, Neha Mevada, and Lauren Thomsen; Student Contributions (Columbia GSAPP, New York): Jessica Cheung, Shirley Dolezal, Lu Feng, Evelina Knodel, Despina Linaraki, and Brittany Roy; Proofreaders: LocTeam, Barcelona and First Edition Translations, London; Translators: Jassim Al-Asadi, Marwah Garib, Valerie Lechene, Joy Sen with Utsab Putatunda, and Semara Anti
This is a book for the next seven generations.
Technology can be different. Technology can just use nature and the systems that nature is composed of, to do things for us like clean sewerage, and provide drinking water. That’s architecture that is beautiful and emblematic of a particular place.
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 an era of high-tech and climate extremes, we are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. Enter Lo—TEK, a design movement building on indigenous philosophy and vernacular infrastructure to generate sustainable, resilient, nature-based technology. With a foreword by renowned anthropologist Wade Davis, four chapters spanning Mountains, Forests, Deserts, and Wetlands representing 20 countries from Peru to the Philippines, Tanzania to Iran, this book explores millennia-old human ingenuity on how to live in symbiosis with nature.
© 2019 Taschen GmbH Hohenzollernring 53 D–50672 Cologne www.taschen.com
Statement including Creative Process:
This is a book for the next seven generations. The reader discovers ancient indigenous architectural innovations; a cumulative body of multigenerational knowledge, practices, and beliefs provide encouragement to preserve Lo—TEK (Traditional Ecological Knowledge) and reduce humanity’s footprint.
The visual system confronts the idea that technology can be different and sustainably work with complex ecosystems across the globe. High attention to design details reflect the sophisticated and carefully selected examples presented in this book. Copper color highlights the value of ancient knowledge. Cardboard hardcover echoes rawness. Open Swiss brochure reveals the book’s construction in an honest and functional way. It's an interactive book with an altitude ruler that links to the bars visible on the book block. The book is organized by chapter color and paper change. The carefully made design decisions embody the book’s subject.
This tactile journey unfolds millennia-old human ingenuity on how to live in symbiosis with nature.
In addition to a striking cover, the book has really beautiful typefaces, amazing maps, illustrations, and diagrams. It's rich with information. And yet it feels effortless. It's super beautiful and interesting in terms of the narrative of the indigenous aspects of humanity that are not often represented in design. It has a delicate, yet complex touch. It is awesome. —Silas Munro
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