Aurelian Ammon, Armin Aschenbrenner, Ludovica Galleani d’Agliano:
Competing with «Soil Exploration Program» in the Biodesign Challenge 2022
We are thrilled that our MA students Aurelian Ammon, Armin Aschenbrenner and Ludovica Galleani d’Agliano (Trends&Identity) will compete in the Biodesign Challenge 2022.
Over the course of six weeks, together with our collaboration partner the Swiss Federal Institute WSL, Aurelian, Armin and Ludovica engaged with topics such as soil microbial worlds, cultivating the uncultured and speculative soil realities while negotiating real scenario applications. They developed a toolkit, tested and applied in-situ, and guide us with the «Soil Exploration Program» through its application and implications, pushing forward frontiers of soil exploration.
As this year’s finalist team, they refined and further developed their project to what we will see at the Biodesign Challenge Summit on Monday, 20 June 2022: A reflective and pioneering work with a far-reaching character, bridging design and science in a transdisciplinary manner and demonstrating their skills as professional designers.
Biodesign Challenge Summit 2022
Join us for their finalist presentation:
Monday, 20 June 2022
19.15 – 19.30, Presentation «Soil Exploration Program»
Livestream at biodesignchallenge.org
Full summit schedule (Day 1) here.
«Soil Exploration Program»
What if we could look at soil with hope and fascination, the same fascination we have when looking at the first moon landing or the hope we hold for the discovery of life forms on Mars? Microbes in the soil are in fact truly alien to us as we don’t know the great majority of them. By using an analogy to space exploration, different questions about how we perceive soil research open up.
In a context of a global antimicrobial resistance and ecological crisis, the Soil Exploration Program (S.E.P) is a fictional organization that aims to bring focus down to the ground. The goal of this project is to push soil exploration forward and to show the possible implications of new microbial discoveries.
99% of soil bacteria are not cultivable in labs, therefore those microbes cannot be isolated and researched in detail. These represents not only a great lack of understanding of the biodiversity of planet Earth, but also a huge potential to solve existential problems that humanity is facing today and in the near future. In a collaboration with researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), this project focuses on improving upon the state-of-the-art in soil microbe cultivation by developing a functioning device, and further theorizing on possible applications of this technology, as well as possible approaches to involve interested citizens in the process of soil exploration.
Students: Aurelian Ammon, Armin Aschenbrenner, Ludovica Galleani d’Agliano
Collaboration Partner: Swiss Federal Institute WSL, Dr. Beat Frey, Beat Stierli, Dr. Ivano Brunner