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Lo—TEK Curriculum


A radical curriculum




The Lo—TEK Curriculum, created in collaboration with Melissa Hunter Gurney of The Omni Institute, was written to accompany the book Lo—TEK Design by Radical Indigenism. It addresses the future of our environment, reignites dismissed voices and ensures access to phenomena and land-based education while simultaneously placing decolonized interdisciplinary research at the forefront. It provides high school students the opportunity to gain an understanding of indigenous technologies and practices that expose connectivity to their own histories, local landscapes and current views. 

Why now?

In 2023 we are seeing huge shifts in the way parents, teachers, school leaders and students are approaching learning. We have pod learning, traveling schools, forest schools, virtual schools and traditional schools, all desperately trying to innovate. Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; the rehumanizing of entire histories; project based approaches; and innovation hubs, are widening the playing field.

The Lo—TEK curriculum is a seminal body of work that offers each of these educational realities a place to root and grow while simultaneously reimagining a global culture informed by indigenous wisdom that connects intergenerational thinking, reciprocity, amplification of spirituality, & respect for all lifeforms. Although we aren't teaching how to build with Lo—TEK explicitly, the Lo—TEK Curriculum opens students to a new way of understanding technology for climate resilience—a way that speaks power to the intuitive thinking that happens in natural environments.

While this curriculum has been developed for secondary and college level students there are components of this curriculum that can be taught in other educational settings. Please contact us if you would like to explore alternative options.

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There are18 first nations groups from across the globe who shared time, knowledge and the intricacies of these nature based technologies to make this work possible— the Incan of Peru; the Khasis of North-east India; the Ifugao of the Philippines; the Subak of Bali; the Mayan of Mexico; the Chagga of Tanzania; the Malayali of India; the Enawenênawê of Brazil; the Kayapó of Brazil; the Zuni, of the United States; the Maasai of Kenya; the Persians of Iran; the Ngisonyaka Turkana of Kenya; the Uros of Peru; the Ma’dan of Iraq; the Bengalese of India; the Tofinu of Benin; and the Javanese of Indonesia. We are grateful that young minds will finally get access to their work.

Julia Watson

Design, Activist and Educator

Designer, activist, academic and author, Julia Watson is a leading expert on indigenous nature-based technologies. Julia has taught at Harvard, Columbia, RISD, and Rensselaer universities and her work has been widely published culminating in her award-winning book, Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism in 2019 with Taschen, which became a bestseller. Lo— TEK has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Monocle, and Architectural Digest. Julia has spoken at the Long Now TED talk, and NPR public radio.

Melissa Hunter Gurney

Educator, Writer and

Environmental Steward

Melissa Hunter Gurney is an educator, writer and environmental steward. She has spent twenty years as an innovative leader in schools across states and countries and is the co-founder of GAMBA Forest, a community art space and one-room schoolhouse in Brooklyn; The Omni Institute, a progressive educational platform that encourages exploration of the wilds; and Black Land Ownership, a grassroots organization which combats systemic oppression around property in the Americas.  

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