Going to the Clay: Exploring Conflicts and Values of the Soil in Valparaíso


  • Daniela Salgado Cofré Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Université libre de Bruxelles
  • Álvaro Mercado Jara Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Université libre de Bruxelles




Clay, Collective Creation, Material Interdependence, Soil, Urbanisation


This proposition presents a design and artistic research focused on the soil and aimed at generating active and poetic forms of reflection around the fragile interdependence of human and non-human lives in an increasingly precarious urban environment, emphasised by the current ecological crisis. In order to engage in such reflections, this practice-oriented research —led by designers, architects, artists and educators— explored and expected to make visible the transformation of peripheral urban areas of the Region of Valparaíso, in Chile. To do so, we focused on following the uses of the soil, identifying conflicts and values that emerge around these extraction sites through immersive sensitive experiences. These collective experiences titled ‘Going to the Clay’ had the objective of searching for clay pits in different sites as the means to establish sensitive connections with the soil and its matter. Thus, the sum of collective and creative explorations performed in the veins and clay pits of Valparaíso served to trace other relational ways of inhabiting, valuing, and working with the soil. We envisage this practice-oriented research project as a poetic alternative to critically question the modern technocratic logics of urbanisation that operate in the region through the commodification and overexploitation of the land.


Não há dados estatísticos.

Biografia do Autor

Daniela Salgado Cofré, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Université libre de Bruxelles

Daniela Salgado Cofré is an Industrial Designer and associate professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Design of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, where she has conducted several situated research and pedagogical experiences of design in the studios, at the Travesías and the Ciudad Abierta. She is a Doctoral Researcher (ANID-Chile) at the “AmericaS” laboratory and the “SASHA Laboratory of Architecture and Human Sciences” at the Faculty of Architecture of the Université libre de Bruxelles.

Álvaro Mercado Jara, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. Université libre de Bruxelles

Álvaro Mercado es arquitecto y profesor asociado de la Facultad de Arquitectura y Diseño de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, donde ha realizado varios estudios e investigaciones centrados en el cuestionamiento de la urbanización a través de métodos de diseño especulativo in situ. Es investigador doctoral (ANID-Chile) en el "Louise-Laboratorio de Paisaje, Urbanismo, Infraestructura y Ecología" de la Facultad de Arquitectura de la Université libre de Bruxelles.


Angelo, H., & Wachsmuth, D. (2015). Urbanizing urban political ecology: A critique of methodological cityism. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39(1), 16–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.12105

Bonneuil, C., Fressoz, J. B., & Fernbach, D. (2017). The Shock of the Anthropocene: The Earth, History and Us. New York: Verso.

Borsdorf, A., Datwyler, R. H., & Francioli, S. E. (2016). Real estate interests versus conservation goals – The implantation of second-homes in the dunes of the Chilean coastal cordillera, Región de Valparaíso. Eco.Mont, 8(2), 13–21. https://doi.org/10.1553/ECO.MONT-8-2S13

Coole, D., Frost, S., Bennett, J., Cheah, P., Orlie, M., Grosz, E., … Edwards, J. (2010). New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics (D. Coole & S. Frost, Eds.). Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Demos, T. J. (2016). Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Ilustrated). Berlin: Sternberg Press.

División de Cambio Climático del Ministerio del Medio Ambiente. (2018). Plan de Acción Nacional de Cambio Climático 2017-2022. Santiago de Chile: Gobierno de Chile.

Escobar, A. (2008). Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life, Redes. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Fox, N. J., & Aldred, P. (2019). New Materialism (P. Atkinson, S. Delamont, A. Cernat, J. W. Sakshaug, & R. A. Williams, Eds.). https://doi.org/https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526421036768465

Moore, J. W., Haraway, D. J., Crist, E., McBrien, J., Altvater, E., Hartley, D., & Parenti, C. (2016). Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (J. W. Moore, Ed.). Oakland: PM Press.

Nel, A. (2015). The choreography of sacrifice: Market environmentalism, biopolitics and environmental damage. Geoforum, 65, 246–254. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.GEOFORUM.2015.08.011

Peeren, E., Stuit, H., Gupta, P., & Nuttall, S. (2021). Symposium on Hinterlands. A Project in the Rural, Literary and Environmentl Humanities. https://doi.org/10.1109/mcg.2007.127

Pino Vásquez, A., & Ojeda Ledesma, L. (2013). City and informal habitat: illegal occupation of land and self-help construction in the ravines of Valparaíso. Revista INVI, 28(78), 109–140. https://doi.org/10.4067/S0718-83582013000200004

Salgado Cofré, D. (2020). La vuelta a la producción global y la alternativa relacional de los artesanos. Revista Acto & Forma, 5(9), 17–21.

Salgado Cofré, D., & Vanwambeke, E. (2021). Designing with Care in the Anthropocene: Revisiting the Artisans’ Relational Approach to Production. Revue Design Arts Medias, (Design & industrie à l’ère de l’Anthropocène).

Scott, D. N., & Smith, A. A. (2017). Sacrifice Zones in the Green Energy Economy: The ‘New’ Climate Refugees. Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, 26(2), 371–381.

Shiva, V. (1991). Ecology and the Politics of Survival: Conflcts Over Natural Resources in India. New Dheli: Sage Publications, United Nations University Press.

Shiva, V. (1999). Resources. In W. Sachs (Ed.), The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power (pp. 207–218). Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, Zed Books.

Valenzuela-Fuentes, K., Alarcón-Barrueto, E., & Torres-Salinas, R. (2021). From Resistance to Creation: Socio-Environmental Activism in Chile’s “Sacrifice Zones”. Sustainability, 13(6), 3481. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063481



Como Citar

SALGADO COFRÉ, D.; MERCADO JARA, Álvaro. Going to the Clay: Exploring Conflicts and Values of the Soil in Valparaíso. Revista GEMInIS, [S. l.], v. 13, n. 2, p. 81–93, 2022. DOI: 10.53450/2179-1465.RG.2022v13i2p81-93. Disponível em: https://www.revistageminis.ufscar.br/index.php/geminis/article/view/730. Acesso em: 31 mar. 2023.



LINK2022 Coletânea: A Pesquisa Practice-led em Comunicação e Design