BK Talks: Design with soil

Urbanizing the living surface

16 maart 2023 18:00 t/m 20:00 - Locatie: OOSTSERRE & Online - Door: Communication BK | Zet in mijn agenda

Op 16 maart vindt de BK Talks 'Design with Soil: Urbanizing the living surface' plaats.

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 ‚Äď sometimes too much and sometimes too little ‚Äď compelled the Dutch government to put soil and water systems at the fore of the nation‚Äôs 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 conceptualised 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.


Fransje Hooimeijer
Associate Professor Environmental Technology & Design, TU Delft

dr. Fransje Hooimeijer is specialized in system integration of technical conditions in urban design and interdisciplinary design. In her research and teaching she takes the perspective on the city as technical re-construction of the landscape and investigates how these conditions can be utilized better in urban design and how the systems can adapt to new technologies. The focus lies on design and planning processes and how by representation of the subsurface as engine room of the city they can be made climate proof, energy neutral, more biodiverse and of better spatial quality. She is involved in practice and research networks in and outside the Netherlands, is editor of the Journal of Delta Urbanism, edited several books and published in urbanism and engineering journals.


Jose Chung
Chair of the OGP Party in Midden Delfland

Jose Chung is chair of the local political party OGP in the municipality of Midden Delfland. She has been politically active in her area for many years promoting renewable energy and keeping Midden Delfland as an open green area. She is active in working with citizens because she feels that carry capacity from them is crucial, especially the farmers who have the closest relation to the soil.

Martina Barcelloni Corte
Architect & Assistant Professor of Landscape Urbanism at the Faculty of Architecture at U Liège

Martina Barcelloni Corte is an architect, assistant professor of Landscape Urbanism and director of the Unité de Recherche en Architecture at U Liège. She has taught and collaborated at research projects in the field of architecture and urbanism at a number of international institutions including EPF Lausanne, IUAV Venice, GSAPP Columbia University and the National University of Singapore. Her field of expertise focuses on the design of cities and territories in the face of environmental constraint and risk.

Verne Ekkel
MSc Architecture Student, TU Delft

Verne Ekkel is a graduating MSc Architecture student, currently participating in the graduation studio of Urban Architecture themed ‚ÄėBlack Hill City‚Äô. The studio, located in Li√®ge (Belgium), is researching the post-carbon landscape. In her graduation project, the landscape is being studied from a vertical perspective representing the soil, the surface and the sky.

Michael Hirschbichler
Architect/artist, Atelier Hirschbichler & TU Delft

Michael Hirschbichler works on the threshold of architecture, art and anthropology. He was a lecturer at ETH Zurich and HSLU Lucerne, the director of the Architecture Program at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, a visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at TU Delft, Goldsmiths and Aarhus University. He is a recipient of the Rome Prize by the German Academy Villa Massimo.

Mark Niesten
Landscape architect, Deltares

Mark Niesten works as a landscape architect (WUR) at Deltares; the Dutch independent institute for applied knowledge on water and subsurface. In his current works he integrates his experience in Dutch and international spatial planning and design with Deltares’ knowledge on water and subsurface systems, to create safe and attractive living environments.

Debra Solomon
Artist and Founder of Urbaniahoeve Social Design Lab for Urban Agriculture

Since 2004, Debra Solomon‚Äôs work has concerned inter-relations with a multispecies whole, addressing biodiversity production, climate crisis mitigation, the multispecies right to the city and right to the urban metabolism. In 2019, she coined the term ‚Äėmultispecies urbanism‚Äô which was presented at the Dutch Pavilion of the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennial (whoiswe.nl). In the pavilion she shared community-based tools such as Radical Observation methodology, soil chromatograms of the 56HA Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest community of praxis soil analysis, rhizotrons ‚Äď living soil observation - and Urbaniahoeve‚Äôs public space food forests as environmentally democratic landscapes. This critical spatial practice is driven by reciprocal inter-species relations of care and her oeuvre is collectively produced with Urbaniahoeve ‚Äď with local communities of practice, but also with and for multispecies communities: the soil organism, urban meadowlands, and urban woodlands.

Practical information

This BK Talks will be streamed live from the Oostserre and can be followed via this link.