07.-21.4.2021 – online

Unfortunately due to corona non of our excursions & visits could take place as originally planned. However we managed to transfer some of the visits into digital lectures, which also gave an insight and an impression into the soils, resources and experts in and around Halle.

Betelhem Mekonnen Muluneh from Martin-Luther University specialized in Geoarchaeology
gave a lecture on soils as archives of humans and environmental history. She explained the climatic and human influence on soil transformation and how one can use this knowledge to read the past. Her research focus lies on the reconstruction of human and environmental history in Ethiopia – especially the way people lived there 4.2 million years ago.

Christian Löwe, Federal Environment Agency
was our guest for an intense discussion on our general understanding of soil and ground as our environment – not our resource. Since his work is currently focussing on digitalisation & environment, e-government, experimental space for digital working environments, he was encouring us as designers to take a critical and constructive perspective on structural aspects concerning our future.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Herbert Pöllmann from Martin-Luther University Mineralogy/Geochemistry
In his lecture Prof. Pöllmann gave a great insight into all kinds of different minerals in everyday life.

Thies Schröder, managing director ferropolis
gave an outline of the history of open-cast lignite mining in Gräfenhainchen, which is now an open-air museum and also a venue for events. The huge open-cast mining machines still standing there are an expression of how we treated our environment, he said.
In a current project, the Zschornewitz power plant, which was supplied with lignite from Gäfenhainchen at the time, is to be redeveloped. The aim is to give new meaning to the carbon cycle and a direction to structural change.

Prof. Dr. Armin Müller, managing director Deutsche Lithium GmbH
gave us an insight into the German lithium deposits and the efforts to mine them to meet the demand, especially from the battery sector. Deutsche Lithium holds the German mining licence for Zinnwald/Altenberg, which is the largest lithium deposit in Europe.

Thorsten Kowalowka, press & public relations K+S
The potash dumps characterise the landscape not just around Halle. They are visible from far away. Thorsten Kowalowka explained the mining of potash, its importance in agriculture, and above all why it is not profitable to purify the waste material, which consists mostly of table salt, in order to sell it as such. Instead, rainwater washes the salt – at least that from the older dumps – into the groundwater and rivers of the surrounding area.

Thanks to
Betelhem Mekonnen Muluneh
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Christian Löwe
Federal Environment Agency
Prof. Dr. Dr. Herbert Pöllmann
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Thies Schröder
Prof. Dr. Armin Müller
Deutsche Lithium GmbH
Thorsten Kowalowka