Indigenous People's Day: Regenerative Design Is Inextricable from Indigenous Design

Nov 22 2021 - 9:21am
In Meghalaya, India—known as the wettest place on earth—the Khasis have trained rubber fig trees to grow into bridges across rivers during monsoons and heavy rains. Beyond their utility, they are visually stunning and have become a symbol of how humans can work with, not against, nature. Photo, published in Vogue, by Pete Oxford / Courtesy of Taschen, publisher of Lo―TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism by Julia Watson.


Regenerative design has become a hot topic in industrial design, architecture, and systems design circles. Yet these conversations and solutions rooted in design having a symbiotic relationship with nature too often minimize or exclude the knowing and contributions of Indigeneous designers.


Design history begins with Indigeneous design and regenerative design principles spring from Indigenous cultures across the globe. Below we've compiled a non-exhaustive list of resources to help you begin to understand why Indigenous designers and their worldviews should be honored and central to designs seeking to preserve Earth's precious resources, in order to build a more equitable and sustainable future for all.


Read the full digital issue of IDSA's INNOVATION magazine:

"Decolonizing Industrial Design"