Project Global: Ground

This exploration of our current day metropolitan condition as a system of systems deals with the crust of the Earth as a primary carrying capacitor of human activities, from the extraction of resources deep within the ground, to agricultural operations that barely scratch the surface.

Part 1: Lexicon

Part 2: Atlas

Part 3: Architectural Projects

Part 1: Lexicon index

︎ Formation

    ︎ Kaapvaal Craton
    ︎ Johannesburg Dome
    ︎ Vredefort Dome
    ︎ Topsoil
    ︎ Müggelsee

︎ Measurement    ︎ Schwerbelastungskörper
    ︎ Mining Earthquakes
    ︎ Low-tech Soil Testing
    ︎ Soil Texture Triangle
    ︎ Geologic Time Scale 
    ︎ Stratigraphic Colum
    ︎ Geographic Information System
    ︎ Ecotone
    ︎ Cultural Landscape

︎ Prototype
    ︎ Unter den Linden
    ︎ Zoological Landscape
    ︎ Counterculture
    ︎ Cultural Agency
    ︎ Mine-pit Lakes
    ︎ Parliament of Things

︎ Land distribution
    ︎ 1913 Natives Land Act
    ︎ District Six
    ︎ Eavesdropping
    ︎ Reconciliation Policy
    ︎ Land Grabbing
    ︎ Land Acting
    ︎ The Red Ants
    ︎ #PutSouthAfricansFirst
    ︎ Suburban Enclaves
    ︎ Parallel State

︎ Extraction
    ︎ Cullinan Diamond Mine
    ︎ Platinum Group Metals
    ︎ Zamazamas
    ︎ Gold Rush Inertia
    ︎ Sinkhole
    ︎ Maize Doctor
    ︎ Coal Hands

︎ Infrastructure
    ︎ Gautrain
    ︎ Le-guba
    ︎ Lesotho Water Project
    ︎ Deutscher Wald
    ︎ Arrival City

︎ Production
    ︎ Safari Economy
    ︎ Agritourism
    ︎ Rainfall Line
    ︎ Upington Airport
    ︎ Tiergarten Transformation
    ︎ Pivot Irrigation
    ︎ Allotment Garden
    ︎ Bokoni Terracing
    ︎ Johannesburg Forestation
    ︎ Game Farming Cycle

︎ Waste
    ︎ Trümmerberg
    ︎ Fab-Soil
    ︎ Mining Waste Belt
    ︎ Sanitary Landfilling
    ︎ Soil Structure
    ︎ Biogas Technology

︎ Pollution
    ︎ Dry Stacked Tailings
    ︎ Water Pollution
    ︎ Soil Pollution
    ︎ Uranium Sandstorms
    ︎ Poaching

︎ Remediation
    ︎ European Green Belt
    ︎ Conservation Agriculture
    ︎ Airfield Urbanism
    ︎ Solar Park
    ︎ Gold Reef City
    ︎ Mine Pit Lake
    ︎ Loess Plateau
    ︎ Erosion Control

Deutscher Wald

“ ⁠— ”

In Germany, the forest straddles a complicated condition between its allegorical symbol for German cultural identity, and its sustained relevance as an economic resource that once sparked and sustained the industrialized German economy. Ever since Roman incursions into Germanic-speaking territories, forests played a critical strategic role–as exemplified by the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE–that would lay the foundations for a cultural mythology of the forest.
        Throughout the Medieval period - and in particular, during the Industrial Revolution – the forests in Germany were cut down for fuel and construction. The depleted forests would not have survived had sustainable yield forestry methods, created by Hans Carl von Carlowitz, combined with preservationist efforts inspired by the Romanticism movement not been introduced to shift the primary economic valuation of the forest from lumber towards recreation.1 In parallel, Romantic artists and authors – such as the Brothers Grimm and Franz Schubert – cited the forests as founts of inspiration and would use it as the backdrop for their work, further embedding the forest as an icon for German culture.
        Today, the forests throughout Germany are maintained under strongly regulated management practices based upon the principles from
sustainable yield forestry
but are unevenly enforceable. In Germany, 48% of forests are managed by the governmental agencies or by communal groups while the remaining 52% of forests exist on privately-held land – a result of gradual estate distribution and historical farming settlements. In the whole of Germany, designated forests account for 32% of the entire country’s gross land area; within the city limits of Berlin, that figure sits at 20%.2 Each forest is managed under the same basic set of principles but are steered differently towards economic (forestry) or heritage (recreation) incentives.
        The forests in Berlin (primarily Grunewald forest, Spandauer forest, Teufelsseemoor Köpenick, and Tiergarten) create an infrastructural network of – due to their immediate locations within the city – recreational forests that are touted as leisure escapes from the city. They have been frequently featured in film, literature and photography as the backdrop for quintessential Berliner’s recreation.

Image source:  Ingo Kowarik et al., “Emerging Urban Forests: Opportunities for Promoting the Wild Side of the Urban Green Infrastructure,” Sustainability 11, no. 22 (January 2019): 6318,

1.   “BMEL - Bundeswaldinventur::Historic Development of the Forested Area,” accessed February 27, 2022,
2.   “Age and Inventory Structure of the Forests 2014,” September 9, 2021,