African Lo-Tech Design

  • Lo-tech design is nature-based design. Human-devised technology does not have to exploit nature: it can fit within it: Traditional indigenous technology uses biodiversity as a building block rather than overexploiting one or two elements of an ecological system. Traditional ecological knowledge results from an accumulation of experience over millennia, in a geographical region, usually buttressed by animist and ancestral spiritual practices. Indigenous Africans have lived and worked and devised methods of living in symbiosis with the environment while accommodating both nomadic and settled tribes, and the need to migrate at times during drought or insect infestation. Lo-tech designs incorporates social philosophies, and the “relations” of reciprocity include humans and other species.  It is why we have a stranger plate and a stranger bed in all of our houses; and why so many animals are used to living around us comfortably.
  • A recent book by Julie Watson (2019) Low-Tek: Design by Radical Indigenism, features examples from Kenya, WIACT would like to document the wisdom of our elders in living sustainably within the Savannah environment of Northern Ghana as well as other areas of Africa where indigenes would like to document their building and living sustainably designs.
  • If you are interested in this topic, please send us an email to: with your ideas for research or volunteering.