soilcraft | a necessary fiction
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This thesis employs design fiction as a practice to suspend belief and present alternative urban soil futures. A recent expansion of classification by soil scientists to better describe and qualify industrial soil types as technosols provides the point of departure for this project. Mixed methods inform the construction of diegetic prototypes to enhance the biological function of technosols, set within a series of wastescapes located in the urbanized Duwamish watershed. The hybrid nature of these soils presents a critical entanglement– development builds or degrades soils, which in turn, nourish or poison the more-than-human city. Research into alternatives ask, what if the built environment was organized to put organic residuals into constructed soils in service of transformative soil biota? Design artifacts build proposals from this what-if scenario to open up and discuss the potential of technosols. Outcomes include an installation entitled, toward biotechnosols, a speculative operation manual for the care of damaged soils, and a series of conceptual apparatuses for the production and cultivation of technosols. Research concludes that technosols could and should be cultivated to transform urban materials, bodies, and space as an alternative to throughput waste– a necessary fiction supporting the mutually beneficial coexistence of human and non-human life in the Duwamish and on this planet.
- Landscape architecture