This project explores the potential of reintroducing Indigenous agricultural techniques and principles as a method for more responsible engagement with the land, Country and fragile Australian ecosystem. The project aimed to recognise and understand personal bias and colonial legacies of western design philosophies by engaging with and learning from Indigenous knowledge-holders, scholars, designers, individuals and stories. It is centred around the farming of murnong (Microseris lanceolate or yam daisy), a staple of Indigenous agriculture and food production prior to colonisation. Murnong cultivation and associated companion planting can enrich rather than degrade soils, while also sequestering carbon.
The project imagines this process playing out on a site along the Barwon River in Brewarrina in far north-western New South Wales. Australian Indigenous knowledge systems and ecological understanding of the landscape have great potential to inform adaptive design for climate change and a future in the Anthropocene. They also have the capacity to empower Indigenous people as leaders reconnecting with Country and as influential creators of design research in their own right. This project was intended as a framework to begin a series of engagements and dialogues around these issues.