Design with soil

Lezing / Debat

Unsustainable growth (urbanization) and shifting temporal horizons in spatial planning increase the urgency of the environmental crisis, especially in deltas like the Netherlands. Securing quality sources and managing quantities of water – sometimes too much and sometimes too little – compelled the Dutch government to put soil and water systems at the fore of the nation’s spatial order. The resultant merger of the water and the soil crisis, however, has been due to the separate treatment of these interdependent systems for decades. The water crisis has been presenting itself in floodings and droughts. However, the soil crisis is more hidden; soil can no longer be conceptualized as a neutral surface. It demands to be understood as living, dynamic and processual, with thickness, a volume in four dimensions. Soils, although degraded and fragmented, call to be looked upon with a new gaze, to be rearticulated in a new project of space aimed towards the construction of a shared, productive, and inhabited nature. All forms of urbanity contain strong ecological potential and are all, today, the testbed to reconceive new relations between soil, city and society.

This BK Talks places on center stage the recognition of soil as a fundamental resource and as a powerful tool to reframe the urban project in design discourse. Moderated by Professor Fransje Hooimeijer, the panel will present different views on how to operationalize soil into design on different levels.

16 maart 2023, 18:00 – Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft

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