Soft Mud Flows

As part of the 2006 Winter Workshop held at the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam, a group of 12 students drew with mud, using their whole bodies. The aim was to explore the fine line between drawing with mud and dancing with mud.

The drawing was made on a tarpaulin under the roof of the NDSM wharves. Many thanks go to Kristina de Chatel Dance Company for choreographic advice and to Thierry van Raay for his artistic and technical guidance.

The programme of work read as follows:

Soft Mud Flows

Mud is a fickle, sometimes hard, sometimes soft thing.
Architecture can share the fickle yielding and non-yielding of mud.
Architecture can enfold within itself the flow of natural forces and earthly might.

We cannot live in the Netherlands by building the dikes higher. We must let in the water and give back to the land its natural wetness.

With rising sea levels letting in the water is, after all, the only way ahead for The Netherlands.

So, Architecture is flow
So, Architecture is nature not tamed
So, Architecture is mud

When the architect makes a mark upon paper his hand moves - and sometimes his arm.
This workshop will extend the movement of the architect’s hand and arm to the whole body.
With the whole body we shall draw with mud and draw its flowing.
With the help of dancer/choreographer Kristina de Chatel we shall ask what kind of flow could be made if we were to break through a ‘zeedijk’?
Would a still and quiet mud become a mighty bulging forth of flow?
Were this in a storm our mud body drawing would be a mighty show of strength.

And once broken through then – a spent flow and the idle waters once again - before the following storm.