Research Projects SustainLab

SOLUM – generous sediments and rare loads

Topic of the year 2020/21

While ever greater effort is being expended to extract geogenic materials, critical loads in the earth are increasing. Under the working title “SOLUM – generous sediments and rare loads”, the question we are asking in our first year of research is what kind of soil we are standing on. From the geological perspective, the solum comprises the surface and subsoil layers that have undergone the same soil forming conditions. We read soil as a material and, at the same time, a complex system. It is a habitat, raw materials source, site of recycling, producer and product, foundation and archive.

How much soil do we consume every day? And in which form? What changes are geogenic material flows subject to as a result of anthropogenic influences? What do alternatives and paths to using sediments sustainably look like? And how can art and design bridge the gap between abstract academic visions and the actual conditions of everyday life?