Cover image for Lo-tek : design by radical indigenism
Title:
Lo-tek : design by radical indigenism
ISBN:
9783836578189
Physical Description:
420 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Summary:
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 remain 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. With a foreword by anthropologist Wade Davis and four chapters spanning Mountains, Forests, Deserts, and Wetlands, this book explores thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from 18 countries including Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. We rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature.
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Summary

Summary

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 remain 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.

With a foreword by anthropologist Wade Davis and four chapters spanning Mountains, Forests, Deserts, and Wetlands, this book explores thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from 18 countries including Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. We rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature.


Summary

Trecento anni fa gli intellettuali illuministi costruirono il mito della tecnologia. Influenzato dal convergere di umanesimo, colonialismo e razzismo, questo mito non teneva in considerazione la saggezza locale e la tecnologia delle popolazioni indigene, ritenendole primitive. Oggi ci siamo resi conto con fatica che l'eredità di pensiero di questo mito continua a perseguitarci. I designer sono ben consapevoli della necessità immediata di ridurre l'impatto negativo dell'uomo sull'ambiente, eppure ripropongono lo stesso mito della tecnologia basato sullo sfruttamento della natura. Se la nostra risposta al cambiamento climatico consiste nel costruire infrastrutture indistruttibili e promuovere un design uniforme e altamente tecnologico, stiamo ignorando il sapere millenario che ci insegna a vivere in armonia con la natura. Senza l'implemento di sistemi a basso impatto che considerano la biodiversità come un elemento costruttivo, il design rimane essenzialmente non-sostenibile. Lo-TEK, da Traditional Ecological Knowledge, è un insieme complessivo di saperi, pratiche e credenze tramandate di generazione in generazione, che si oppone al pensiero di un'innovazione indigena primitiva e separata dalla tecnologia, reputandola al contrario raffinata e ideata per funzionare in modo sostenibile all'interno di ecosistemi elaborati. Diviso in quattro capitoli (Montagne, Foreste, Deserti e Ambienti acquatici) questo volume esplora la saggezza e l'ingegno tramandati per migliaia di anni in luoghi come il Perù, le Filippine, la Tanzania, il Kenya, l'Iran, l'Iraq, l'India e l'Indonesia. Riscopriamo un mito antico in un contesto moderno, trovando le radici dell'essenza della natura umana.


Summary

Hace trescientos años, los intelectuales de la Ilustración europea construyeron una mitología de la tecnología. Esta mitología, influida por una mezcla de humanismo, colonialismo y racismo, ignoró la sabiduría local y las innovaciones indígenas, que consideró primitivas. Ahora, nos hemos dado cuenta de que el legado de esta mitología sigue influyendo en nosotros. Pese a que los diseñadores son conscientes de la necesidad urgente de reducir el impacto negativo del ser humano en el medio ambiente, siguen perpetuando la misma mitología de la tecnología basada en la explotación de la naturaleza. Al responder al cambio climático con grandes infraestructuras y diseños homogéneos de alta tecnología, ignoramos conocimientos milenarios acerca de cómo vivir en simbiosis con la naturaleza. Si no se aplican sistemas más flexibles que integren el respeto a la biodiversidad como un componente esencial, los diseños seguirán siendo inherentemente insostenibles.Lo--TEK, término que deriva del inglés Traditional Ecological Knowledge (conocimiento ecológico tradicional), es un conjunto de conocimientos, prácticas y creencias multigeneracionales que contrarresta el prejuicio de que las innovaciones indígenas son primitivas y ajenas a la idea misma de tecnología. Es sofisticado y está diseñado para trabajar de forma sostenible con ecosistemas complejos. Con un prefacio del antropólogo Wade Davis y cuatro capítulos, Montañas, Bosques, Desiertos y Humedales, este libro explora miles de años de sabiduría y diseño inteligente procedentes de 18 países, entre los que se cuentan Perú, Filipinas, Tanzania, Kenia, Irán, Irak, India e Indonesia. Redescubrimos una mitología antigua en un contexto contemporáneo, radicalizando así el espíritu de la naturaleza humana.


Author Notes

Julia Watson is Associate Professor of Comparative Studies, The Ohio State University.


Reviews 1

Spanish Language Review

"Arquitectura sin arquitectos. Un libro objeto al uso, diferente, que además aporta un conocimiento esencial de un movimiento de diseño que reconstruye la comprensión de la filosofía indígena y la arquitectura vernácula. En definitiva, un libro curioso, cargado de cultura y conocimiento, y de anchura de miras, para que los diseñadores sean conscientes de la necesidad urgente de reducir el impacto negativo del ser humano en el medio ambiente."