Autumn 2023

On the ZADist Path: Living Earth on Depleted LandFrancis Schoups

The soil and ground we live on provides us multiple, life giving services which we are not aware of – a terre inconnue. A healthy soil is crucial for the production of food and drinking water, flood and climate control, biodiversity … In stark contrast to the life the soil is generating, we – humans – are rapidly depleting the land of its natural resources.

From the fall of 2020 into the spring of 2021 the Zadists – ZAD meaning Zone à Defendre - occupated the Mormont hill near Eclépens in the Canton of Vaud. The activists occupated the limestone quarry of cement giant Holcim, defending it from its further extension. This first ZAD of Switzerland opened the eyes of the population to see the effects of our way building and living.

What if we start rethinking our current extractivist way of living? What if we start taking care again for the land we live on?

This research by design project proposes soil banks to reclaim former depleted areas. A landscape emerges where soil and waste become common resources.