Soil as Resource, Not Waste: A Trans-material Approach to Architectural Production

Şahin Z., Altunok N., Özdemir N.

Production Studies 2024: Transforming Knowledges of Architecture, Design and Labour, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, 25 - 28 March 2024, pp.95

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Country: England
  • Page Numbers: pp.95
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


From antiquity to the Anthropocene, soil has played an essential role in the definition of matter and has been the source of almost everything. Today, due to increasing construction activities in metropolises, cities are facing the catastrophe of losing their land every day. This research initiates a vibrant question about soil that cannot be produced but can be an acting agent in production studies. It is necessary to discuss the current mainstream modes of production in architecture and the building site and their impact on the living 136 environment. Especially, the rapid changes in the Anthropocene have affected architecture and as a result, the soil is covered with concrete. With intense urbanization and industrialization, soil that has been displaced in the city is described as ‘lost’ in this research. The problem of the city losing its soil and its effects on other living organisms requires a comprehensive solution. Therefore, the research focuses on a new materialistic perspective that aims to examine the topic from a broader context and prioritizes the collaboration of different disciplines. It aims to design a trans-material and transdisciplinary approach to building sites that reveals the importance of reusing the excavation soil on-site, which is considered waste, and to discuss future potentials. A critical inquiry into the relationship between architectural design and conventional production has shown that taking action on-site and generating alternative tools is necessary. We propose a system including a group of actors active in different stages. In the process, data mining systems are used to make projections for the future and an archive is created with the prototypes by adding different materials to excavated soil. Consequently, it is envisaged to reuse waste excavation soil and to adopt innovative ideas on sustainable production studies.