More critically, the rapid loss and degradation of ‘living soil’ cultivated by biological communities at the interface of both systems, represents a growing threat to the fundamental mechanism underpinning the circular renewal of sustainable food resources for the planet.
Soil Sisters links biomaterial research seminar with ongoing scientific and engineering research to investigate a new paradigm for connecting agricultural waste to large-scale regional material supply chains, in which improving soil nutrition and soil resiliency underpins the design goal of providing cross-sectoral environmental performance through the provision of new biomaterial building materials and non-toxic plant-based color.
Across global landfill sites, the inability of increasing quantities of material surplus from various sectors to “return to the soil”, has brought into sharp focus the biological incompatibility between today’s overground and underground material systems. Meanwhile, global crop residues (agricultural by-products left in the field) are estimated at over 5.5 billion tons per year of potentially valuable biomaterial inputs that could support circular material economies for upcycled products, from textiles to packaging, furniture and building materials.
How can integrated metrics for building material performance, and derivative prototypes, can be
developed in response to designing for soil health over time?
Image: Avocado bioplastic material prototype