Looking ahead to the future of our built environment, a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t do. Issues like rising sea levels, temperatures, and water scarcity in urban communities need localized solutions that take into account questions of sustainability, culture, and public health. Having investigated vernacular infrastructure across indigenous communities for her book Lo-TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism, designer Julia Watson is an expert in local, nature-based technologies that are inherently adaptable and resilient. We talk to her about the future of our cities, building materials, and her latest project for Our Time on Earth – a five year, world-touring exhibition that just opened at London’s Barbican Centre to investigate how radical, collaborative ideas for the way we live can get us to a much improved place by 2040.