Soil Module Fall 20

Soil Module Fall 20
28. June 2020 Luisa Overath

This fundamental course provides an introduction to soil science through a series of lectures, exercises and excursions. The module covers the fundamentals of the classification of soils, soil-forming processes, physical and chemical soil properties, soil biology and ecology along with soil degradation and protection. Students will gain an understanding of the basic concepts of the discipline and be provided with resources that support future research in soil science.

The course is organized with Foundation Studio I as a joint one-week module. The module gives students tools to understand temporal and physical scale, research methods, units of measurement, modes of representation and critical literature, all of which form the framework for the joint discourse between the field of landscape architecture and the sciences.

We also introduce the idea of drawing as a methodology for landscape architects to integrate scientific concepts into design. Rigorous drawing languages allow designers to abstract the complexity of reality into documents that form the basis of design proposals. Students will develop graphic languages that integrate the topics introduced by the soil scientists into formats that open up new possibilities for design. How we record the landscape shapes how we design it. If we draw the soil as dead, static or empty, then we design accordingly. Instead, if the soil is represented and understood as a living and dynamic entity, then design proposals must adapt.


  • Sep 28 Introduction to Soils
  • Sep 29 Soil Physics, Soil Chemistry & Fertility
  • Sep 30 Soil Biology & Ecology
  • Oct 01 Soil Conservation & Degradation; Soil Science Excursion
  • Oct 02 Practical Aspects of Soil Protection