Rhizotrons by Debra Solomon
A series of ‘rhizotrons’ incorporate living soils and plants that allow visitors to experience the rhizosphere – the rootzones of an urban soil environment, specifically that of the Amsterdam regions Zuidoost and Noord. A rhizotron is simultaneously a laboratory, an architectural expression and a technical tool used to observe the most alive space of the soil below the soil’s surface – the rhizosphere. This work is on show next to Het Glazen huis since Juli 10, 2022, when it was part of the exhibition Our Living Soil.
Debra Solomon is a permaculture expert advocating for systemic change to rethink relationships between humans, soil, other organisms, city and food, etc. She coined the concept of MultiSpecies Urbanism in her project for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021: the methods, values and domains through which more-than-people are given a voice and people become participants in ‘multispecies’ communities. Here she showed her perspective on just urbanism, which is based on reciprocal relationships between all living beings. Our Living Soil (2022) showed works that were part of this exhibition: Radical Observation and Rhizotrons.
The Voedselbos (Food Forest) Amsterdam Zuidoost (also known as VBAZO) is an ecological zone of 55 hectares in the southeast of Amsterdam. Since 2018, more than 70 people have become the VBAZO Community of Praxis. They are working with the municipality to transform the area. As a community of praxis, they design and add food forest layers to the earlier planted urban greenery. They maintain contacts and cooperate with different municipal departments.