Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Emily Vogler

Second Advisor

Adam Anderson


“In an era of both utopian high tech and unprecedented climate extremes, we are drowning in information while starving for wisdom." The TEK-Way is a challenge to the long arm of globalization by looking into multi-generational wisdom, the hidden strength of every community but forgotten in the endless race for “modernization”. It inspires a new relationship of justice and coexistence by exploring and rebuilding an understanding of traditional ecological knowledge and spreading awareness of its importance and role in this era of climate change.

This thesis questions the band-aid recovery strategies of disaster mitigation through an exploration of long-term adaptation scenarios by hybridizing indigenous nature-based technologies into contemporary systems to create resilient models for disaster preparedness. Situated in India, this research explores the tribal communities of the country, the Adivasis, who are considered the most threatened by climate change to develop an understanding of their values, practices, and the power dynamics and injustices around land tenure.

Cultures have existed and respected their landscapes for thousands of years. The idea of ownership of land needs to have a paradigm shift. We, as a species, need to come to terms with the fact that the environment is not a commodity to possess by one. “Environmental degradation, increasing social conflicts, and the loss of harmonious human-nature relationships, local identity, and historical context become significant topics of concern for the future.” Landscape Architects have the ability to develop and envision a more inclusive response for the future and nurture resilient communities. The TEK-Way unshackles and empowers the Adivasi communities by acknowledging their rights over land, spreading awareness, and respecting their practices and skills, which could be the future of climate-resilient infrastructures.


View exhibition online: Smera Rose Jacob, The TEK-Way



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