COLUMBUS DIRT: Illuminating the Invisible

An exhibition by Paula Meijerink

Soil is an ‘invisible’ entity in our daily environment, its place underfoot causes it to be left out of mind. Hidden below buildings, lawns, paved surfaces, crops, and mulch, soil is an entity that though outside the realm of everyday perception and absent in discussions on the quality of the built environment. Yet soil is fundamental to supporting all of the life forms that make up the global ecosystem. Dirt passively cycles nutrients to plants while also storing water. Its relation to food security cannot be overstated and it plays a major role in maintaining a balanced global carbon cycle. This exhibition will shed light on the richness of soils here in Columbus, make subterranean life visible, and probe conventions; how can soil be experienced and initiate new ecologies? We hope to fully explore how one of the fundamental building blocks necessary for plant and animal life; dirt can be used as an actual building material: all while still retaining its life sustaining qualities until it can eventually be sustainably returned to the soil from that it came.


About the Team
Paula Meijerink, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture

The following students contributed to the design and construction of the exhibition: 

Sophie Pawlak
Sam Haugh
Andrew Davis
John Bargiel
Bailey Moore
Clara Young
Yutong Wu
Linghui Zhang
Ben Kohls
Sicong Ma
Ruby Yen
Lizi Huang
Paul Maginnity
Jennifer Fullenkamp
Girme, Anuja M.

Exhibition on view: March 7, 2018 — March 30, 2018