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


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The illegal hunting and trafficking of animals, or poaching, has plagued South Africa since colonial times. From its earliest days, poaching was primarily for sport and trophy hunting, with little regard for wildlife population sustainability. By the early twentieth century, for instance, the rhinoceros population within South Africa numbered less than two-hundred adults.1 Rhinoceroses, alongside elephants, have been particularly targeted by South African poaching for their horns.
        To combat this crisis, state-backed nature and game reserves were established to nurture several animal populations back to sustainable levels. Though these reserves have helped to replenish the population of rhinoceroses, they have been insufficient to prevent poaching. In the 1970s and 1980s, for instance, growing demand from burgeoning markets in Southeast Asia for pulverized rhinoceros horns as traditional Chinese herbal medicine once again drove poaching to decimate ninety-six percent of the South African rhinoceros population.2 In 2021, rhinoceros poaching numbers had increased for the first time since 2014 when a record number had been killed.3
        While private game reserves in South Africa will have their own security teams patrolling smaller parks, the larger public parks, such as Kruger National Park, are inherently more difficult to monitor wildlife in, patrol, and prevent poachers from breaching into – poachers who are often South African, or nationals from neighboring countries like Mozambique or Botswana, but all funded by criminal organizations from Asia.
        In addition to the deployment of park rangers by state-operated foundations, non-governmental organizations have gradually taken a larger role in anti-poaching measures, including the patrolling of parks, or the facilitation of crowd-funding anti-poaching funds from the international community. Similarly, anti-poaching techniques have diversified beyond patrol, “broken-windows” deterrence, and boots-on-the-ground surveillance: horn removal and poisoning techniques have been developed to disincentivize the needless killing of the animals, while remote surveillance techniques using unmanned drones and thermal cameras have been deployed, particularly as a supplement to deter illegal passage across the South Africa-Mozambique border along Kruger National Park.

Image source: “Rhino Poaching in South Africa Reaches Record Levels,” BBC News, January 10, 2013, sec. Science & Environment,

1.   “Rhinoceros Poaching in Southern Africa,” in Wikipedia, January 29, 2022,
2.   “African Rhinos,” accessed February 28, 2022,
3.   “Rhino Poaching in South Africa Rises for First Time in 7 Years,” Bloomberg.Com, February 9, 2022,