Soil Matters exhibition at Designmuseum

Explorations on the materiality of soil and how it is interwoven with human activity.
Prof. Maarit Mäkelä and her work
Professor Maarit Mäkelä painting a vessel made of contaminated soil from Venice. Photo: Anne Kinnunen

The design industry steers consumer habits, thus contributing to the contamination and transformation of the land. Soil Matters highlights how, among other factors, the glass and porcelain industries and new technologies have left their mark in the soil. In the exhibition, designers, artisans and artists explore the relationship between human and soil through experimental design projects.

The exhibition is being curated by Maarit Mäkelä, ceramic artist and Doctor of Arts, and Riikka Latva-Somppi, curator and artist. Mäkelä works as an associate professor in the Department of Design at Aalto University, where she is the head of the new master’s degree programme in Contemporary Design and the Empirica research group. Latva-Somppi has worked in various professional roles in the field, including a post as a part-time teacher at Aalto University which she has held for over two decades. At the moment, she is completing her doctoral studies as a member of the Empirica research group in the Department of Design at Aalto University.


Soil Matters will open in September for Helsinki Design Week. It will mark the end of the three-year Design Club Open Call series, in which impressive new curatorial content has been sought for Design Museum’s Gallery.

Soil exhibits from the project Traces_from_the_Anthropocene Working_with_Soil. Photo:TzuyuChen

Soil Matters exhibition chosen as the winner of Design Museum´s open call

Soil Matters exhibition chosen as the winner of Design Museum´s open call

Traces from the Antropocene exhibition in Venice Biennale in 2019. Photo: Tzuyu Chen

Traces from the Anthropocene. Working with Soil.

A multidisciplinary research project that addresses the ecological consequences of the human footprint through ceramic art. The exhibition is a part of Venice Biennale during summer 2019.


Hack our habitat

Aggressive urbanisation is straining our ecosystem. Rising construction volume causes massive demand for energy-intensive construction materials, and construction already accounts for 39 per cent of the global CO2 emissions.

Read more
Designs for a Cooler Planet Hack our Habitat
Designs for a Cooler Planet — Helsinki Design Week 2020
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