Seed Storage: Braiding indigenous knowledge with contemporary design

As Western civilization grapples with climate change and its effects on social and environmental structures, Indigenous communities are increasingly reassessing their place in local ecological chains by going back to their cultural traditions. Projects to empower the use of traditional farming, original languages, ceremonies, and healing practices are examples of this effort. In reconnecting to indigenous farming traditions, Braiding the Sacred joins this trend to create a safety network that empowers indigenous nations through food security and self-reliance. Within this context, we have been asked to revisit the underground storage pits once built with earth, gravel, sand, and bark, in the Haudenosaunee tradition, and propose a new underground food storage. Built with “green materials” and low-tech methods, the main objective is to create an accessible design with low construction cost and maintenance, so it can be reproduced by different communities around the country and aid Braiding the Sacred in its mission to rematriate traditional seeds. The project aims to develop strategies for constructing healthy and sustainable structures informed by traditional practices, natural and renewable materials, and contemporary knowledge about energy efficiency.