Narratives of Soil | British Council | International | Research | 2021 - 2022

The Narratives of Soil research project developed and delivered in collaboration with Wendy Teo Atelier and supported by the British Council 'Connections through Culture' research programme, delves into the meaning of soil, exploring its narrative through ancient and contemporary perspectives to contextualise landscapes and address climate change through familiar materials.

The process of working with soil is a humbling one. The material narrates a lesson for all involved about their landscape. Building and objects that use soil take on its meaning. But often, the hegemony dictates that this meaning is humble and undignified. In this project, we were interested in exploring the vocabulary of soil through the eyes of ancient and emerging practitioners. Through comparative study we got to see what soil could reveal to us, contextualising our landscape in relation to what it has been through. In this time when climate change is affecting the entire planet, global connections using familiar materials are important when exploring solutions.

Project timeline:

Janurary 2021
Initial research and building a network of local and international soil experts and practitioners
Research into traditional soil practices in design and production continued throughout

Feburary - May 2021
Recorded audio interviews with six soil practitioners published as podcasts

April 2021
Narratives of Soil, Live Forum
The forum was made up of two parts; Translating Soil and Manipulating Soil

May - June 2021
Red soil workshop with Wendy Teo, Kuching
Soil battery workshop with Sean T Ross, Online
Reflective soil workshop with Wendy Teo, Kuching
Translucent soil workshop with Wendy Teo, Kuching
3D printing soil with Wendy Teo, Kuching

July 2021
Lunch of publication and virtual exhibition

November 2021
Second round of funding recieved

December 2021
Living Sculpture workshop with Maria Roy Deulofeu and Sean T Ross, Online

Janurary 2022
Rammed Earth workshop, Kuching

February 2022
Further 3D printing experimentation