earthLAB - Using Soil To Build Our Future

earthLAB, sustainable development studio

Building with soil in the 21st century – can you imagine it? And we don’t mean a childhood construction of a mudpie. The human race loves utilizing man made resources but tries avoiding the inconvenient truth about their effects on the planet. A sustainable future calls for sustainable measures and that’s why it’s more important now than ever to start rethinking how we use the earth and what it has to offer. For years, earthLAB has reimagined what it means to live a sustainable life and take from the earth without adding to its expiration date. 

EarthLAB, a sustainable development studio based in Gothenburg, wants us to rethink our relationship with the ground beneath our feet. The group was started in 2012 by Ásgeir Sigurjónsson, David Martínez, and Shea Hagy, who originally hail from Iceland, Mexico, and the USA respectively. While studying a master in design for sustainable development at Chalmers University of Technology, the three teamed up outside of class to work on a sustainable project and landed on “rammed earth.” This concept has been present for ages and used in architectural structures around the world, but for some, it’s a new idea that might even sound a little strange and like it could be too much trouble. But it is simple – all you need is soil and a base. EarthLAB has used this method to create different objects ranging from walls to lamps. Through workshops, the group has shown people how simple and sustainable this construction style is for building the future.