Cultivating Companionship

Cultivating Companionship
Creating conversation and communities within the cornfield

Our connection to the land is crucial, yet the Anthropocene mindset alienated us from being part of nature. To counter this, a multi-layered project grew in Bersenbrück, a little village in northwest Germany. Working with the corn plant as a symbol of Anthropocene agriculture, this project questions how we can foster community and embrace biodiversity within the monoculture of a cornfield.

The design is a research residency within the cornfield and focuses on local materials, learns from traditional ways of building and community life, and cooperates with non-humans as a necessary part of the design. Newly developed biobased materials are a core element of the project. Made from leftovers of local corn production, they show the potential of agricultural waste. In the cornfield residency, those materials are combined with wooden half-timbered structures and thereby become space.

The communal aspect is as important as the material aspect for the success of residency. The focus lies on bringing together people and other species to enrichen the network through a wide bandwidth of expertise, professions and perspectives. The knowledge, discussion and joy of this place are to be shared with the outside world through workshops, celebrations and events. Furthermore, are the participants asked to take their locally made material with them to not only remember but to also share their experiences with others and spread the idea of a community with is based on companionship and diversity.

Monoculture practices harm biodiversity and distance humans from the land. To counter this, the project cultivates companionship to rebuild connections with the intricate ecosystems that sustain life. It invites humans and non-humans into the cornfield and creates a resilient and biodiverse future community for the local ecosystem and beyond.

personal space for sleeping and customized material designs.
Mushroom House
communal space for exchange and creation
collaborative space between humans and non-humans
the residency field inside the cornfield