Matthew Ashton

G r o u n d b r e a k i n g

Groundbreaking is an ongoing research project investigating the environmental consequences of the construction industry. Wandering beyond the glossy urban realm and into the extractive hinterlands, I retrace the movement of mundane building materials, entering a world of material flows, environmental transformations and emerging feral ecologies. A vast archipelago of pits, quarries and mines feeding the continuous production of urban space. What can these places teach us if we care to listen?

J u d g e s ’   c o m m e n t s :

Through photographic documentation, we are taken to the source of contemporary community construction in city outskirts, and in the countryside, something that makes us conscious of the built environment’s conse- quences. A landscape full of holes and heaps, sand pits, gravel quarries and limestone quarries tells us that growth comes at a high price. Working as an architect today cannot only be about proposing new built environments; the knowledge can also be used to bring to light what we prefer not to see or accept.

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