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DOING with: Otobong Nkanga and Gropiusbau Museum 

Berlin, Germany (2020)

Earth research and workshop room integrated on "Carved to Flow"at GROPIUSBAU museum, being part of OTOBONG NKANGA´s solo exhibition: "There is no such thing as solid ground".

During 5 months this workshop room with free entrance, was installed inside the museum to put our hands literally in the earth, exploring and re-using Berlin EXCAVATIONS and DEMOLITIONS. 

Within different workshops these materials were tested and transformed into new construction materials as adobe bricks, earth plasters and rammed earth, using for that different mixes.

Keeping an eye on raw earth and sustainability, the workshops were used to bring discussion in three main directions: technical, social and educational, involving different associations and institutions. 

The curatorial format highlight the PROCESS AS EXHIBITION SPACE, and creates new sinergias inside and outside Gropiusbau, dissolving the boundaries with the neighborhood. 

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In and out Gropiusbau Museum,

RESEARCH on available raw earth materials and demolitions in the city of Berlin.

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(5 months - July till December)

"The project Carved to Flow is a support structure that is embedded within art and the social sphere. Consisting of three phases, the first was the Laboratory in 2017, a workshop installation in Athens during documenta 14."(...)"The second phase, Warehouse and Distribution, took place later that year during documenta 14 in Kassel" (...) "Currently the third phase, Germination, focuses on local ecologies through research and knowledge sharing, structured around exhibitions, workshops and events (...)managed by Nuno Vasconcelos during the course of the exhibition(...)"


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio

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(workshop along Oktober)

RATIBOR 14 is a place in Kreuzber (Berlin) that is the result of a shared and mixed use of Land, not as property but as a COMMON GOOD, This activity/human diversity has being playing an important role for COMMUNITY BUILDING in this specific neighborhood. For the last 3 years they are coming under pressure to leave the Land, so it can be used for another real state propose. Like in many places, the increasing economical market value of Land/Earth overshadow the value of the elements that compose that same Land/Earth, as well the social value builded up through human relations... What means this earth, soil?




(existing wall at RATIBOR 14, were the solitary Bees do there nests every year)

This workshop is a metaphor to erase questions about EARTH, SOIL, LAND, USE OF SOIL, PROPERTY... At the first glance, earth and soil, can be seen simply as a material, but can also be seen from a POLITICAL point of view, bringing to the discussion a complex SOCIAL problem that affects more and more the city of Berlin. 

The practical exercise in this workshop is the construction of BEE HOUSES, In order to allow the reparation of a wall in dangerous to collapse, populated by bees, in the community of RATIBOR 14. WHY? Somehow, it is a way to say that all the elements and intervenient from a place needs to be cared, when there is a particular problem to be solved. Highlighting the importance to preserve the biodiversity of species and mixed use of spaces, makes the bridge to the importance to preserve the “activity/human diversity” for a neighborhood or city identity, in order to contribute for a FAIR AND EQUAL SOCIETY.





    Laura Fiorio

    Laura Fiorio

    Laura Fiorio

    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio

The result of this workshop are these BEE HOUSES... An experiment about the SOLITARY BEES and the way they build there own nests: digging a hole on the plaster from the existing wall at RATIBOR14.

This new Bee Houses, are self standing structures made with abobe bricks, rammed earth and cob, were we filled some of the spaces, between adobe bricks, with a very weak earth plaster, similar with the one existing now in the old wall at RATIBOR14.

If the Bees will like it, and will start to dig there own holes (nest) in it ?... We don´t know yet! But, we will see! This on going process will be used/adopted, by, as case study to observe the behave of solitary Bees.


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio


    Laura Fiorio



(workshop along November and December)

CANCELED (corona lock down)

 This is not just about a 5 meters high rammed earth tower, but about look at the PROCESS as EXHIBITION space. Happening during two months in the "Lichthoff", a central area inside the Museum, inviting visitors to take part on action, besides TU University student groups. With this, we pretend to bring a ART INSTITUTION to create space (and financing) for the ACADEMY to learn by doing and EXPERIMENT on a informal basis, giving also the possibility for non academic participants.


The concept of this 5 meter high tower, was recycled from a old project (not built) from DOING.

Explore the limits of plasticity and textures, as result of a EXPERIMENTAL method for RAMMED EARTH. As result, an introspective space that brings the visitor literally inside the earth, on it´s most raw stage. 

With a wood formwork, the earth would be rammed just along the perimeter of the elipse shape, and not in the middle. After the ramming process till the top (5 meters) is completed, the non-rammed loose earth is removed creating the empty space inside. This way we create a contrast between the smooth exterior surface given by the formwork, and a raw earth surface in the interior.




Gropiusbau Museum Exhibition : Otobong Nkanga - "There is no such thing as solid ground"

link to the exhibition:

Curator: Clara Meister

Workshop room: Carved to Flow - Germination

Coordenation: Nuno Vasconcelos

Photos: Laura Fiorio (, Nuno Vasconcelos

Localization: Berlin, Germany

Duration: 5 months

Year: 2020

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