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Built on Sand?

Bachelor thesis by Christina Serowski

Zeichnung von einem Kartenausschnitt mit Straßen, Wegen und Wiesen
Organisational Unit:

Fertile soil is a finite and threatened resource. Unsustainable land management, growing cities and climate change impacts are leading to soil loss and degradation worldwide. Even though our everyday consumption decisions are linked to this development, the extent of the threat is not visible in our everyday reality.

In cooperation with the IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, I have developed an interactive exhibition concept on the topic of soil as a threatened resource, which aims to sensitise a broad public to the problem.

An important approach is to convey how each individual contributes to the loss of soil and what they can do about it. Thus, the focus of my work is on the conception of a true-to-life, personal introduction to the topic, which illustrates the complex thematic connections.

The city establishes this connection because it shapes the everyday life of the target group and serves as their basis of identity. It is the living space for more than half of the people worldwide and its development is decisive for global resource consumption. The more sustainable the development of cities, the more sustainable the use of resources.

A future vision of the sustainable city is therefore intended as a central storytelling element and plot of an overarching game in the exhibition to explain the content in a more tangible way and to show options for action that are close to everyday life. Through the use of digital media, visitors can experience how their life in the city affects the consumption of land.

The basic message is that the city has significance for global developments and that every citizen, with his or her responsibility for the city, also indirectly influences the stock of soil and its future quality of life.

Project participants

Project management

Prof. Dr. Frank Heidmann

Prof. Dr. Frank Heidmann

Research Professor for Design of Software Interfaces
Programme Director for Design (M. A.)


Christina Serowski