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

Pivot Irrigation

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Invented in 1948 and introduced to South Africa in 1970,1 the center pivot irrigation system is a movable pipe structure that rotates around a central pivot point which is connected to a water supply. Since their introduction, center pivot irrigation systems have become the most popular sprinkler irrigation systems in the world because of their high efficiency, even water diffusion, and ability to irrigate uneven terrain while also requiring low capital-investment, maintenance, and maintenance costs. Despite its advantages, center pivot irrigation systems waste large volumes of water to evaporation and the arrangement of circular fields leaves unused space between the radii of each pivot sprinkler.
        Between 1990 and 2014, there was a notable shift in South African agricultural practices marked by a net decrease in cultivated commercial fields. Because center pivot irrigation systems can produce similar crop tonnage in smaller irrigated plots, many former agricultural fields have been left to fall fallow and revert to a semi-natural state. Pivot-driven agriculture, however, requires more intensive infrastructural investments, nutrient applications and significantly greater water use. The main component of center pivot irrigation is grain and oilseed crops (maize, wheat, soybeans, sorghum, sunflower and groundnuts).2

Image source:  Google, n.d., “Center pivot irrigation in South Africa.” Accessed March 6, 2022.

1.    Reinders, Felix. “Celebrating the Development of Irrigation Technologies.” ARC-Institute for Agricultural Engineering (IAE), no. AgriAbout online magazine September 2020 edition (n.d.): 14–17.
2.   Grainsa, and RhinoReloaded. “Change in Cropping Practices under Centre Pivot Irrigation.” Change in cropping practices under centre pivot irrigation. Accessed March 6, 2022.
Beer, Joe de. Land and Terrestrial Ecosystem Accounts, 1990 to 2014. Statistics South Africa, 2020: 1-92,
4.   Waller, Peter, and Muluneh Yitayew. Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016, 209-228,