About this project
What is SOILED?
SOILED is an architectural periodical. It investigates latent issues in the built environment and the politics of space.
SOILED operates at the interstices of architecture, urbanism, and the pedosphere, providing a venue for dialogue and exploration.
SOILED investigates collective issues, documenting hidden systems and in-between spaces.
SOILED curates ideas from the arable to the obscene, decentering the conventional categories used to define the built environment.
SOILED employs narratives, manifestoes, mappings, ephemera and live events, inviting the broader public to participate in architectural discourse.
SOILED is calibrated filth.
As an alternative to the proliferation of digital media, SOILED is an interactive artifact that is simultaneously disposable and precious. In symbiosis with its value as a bound book, certain pages of the publication are intended to be removed, manipulated, and used to explore and re-contextualize the reader’s environments. In this way, SOILED aims to push the potential of the printed page and reconnect with the materials and landscape from which its content originates. Rather than being subdivided with page numbers, SOILED is calibrated in inches and feet as a continuous 1:1 medium. Articles are curated along this continuum to tell a larger story through conscious positioning of content, visual matter, sediment, and ephemera.
SOILED is available in both a print edition and a free downloadable PDF. Explore our work at soiledzine.org
What’s the project? Why Kickstarter?
To date, the SOILED team has produced three gorgeous issues featuring the thought experiments, musings, reflections, and studies of 28 contributors. Our contributors hail from Chicago, New York, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Barcelona, and London and include architects, graphic designers, photographers, cartographers, cartoonists, historians, and activists. We are constantly seeking new voices and perspectives to share with you.
Building on our first three issues, Groundscrapers, Skinscrapers, and Platescrapers, we aspire to elevate issue No. 4: more dynamic, more tactilely pleasurable, and filled with more ephemera for you to soil. Rather than our current model of print-on-demand or lower-resolution PDF download, we seek to do a print run of 1,000 issues through this campaign. Working with a local print house will allow us more freedom to bring our vision to life, to sell SOILED at lower costs, and to distribute issues through independent bookstores, cultural institutions, and communal spaces across Chicago, the US, and beyond.
With three issues to date, our curatorial, editorial, and design processes are smooth and constantly improving. Now’s the right time to take our printed edition to the next level and allow more people to get down and dirty with architecture and culture; to get SOILED with us.
Our next issue, Windowscrapers, aims to purvey stories about urban adjacencies, surveillance, and voyeurism. Windowscrapers will inhabit the threshold between public and private space, seeking to inject opportunistic interventions that extend the public domain. By peering through the proverbial window, Windowscrapers navigates a continuum of human encounters, from the sinister to the serendipitous. We are already working with a number of talented contributors on projects for this issue.
Who are we?
Architect Joseph Altshuler and educator and performance artist Isaac Bloom established SOILED as a venue for architectural storytelling. Frustrated by the discipline’s tendency to talk only to itself, SOILED was conceived as an inclusive space to engage non-architects as much as architects. While other forms of artistic expression enjoy explicit spaces for public participation and entertainment (e.g. the auditorium, the art gallery, the theater), architectural discourse too often remains confined within stuffy lecture halls. SOILED aims to be a “ticket” to an architectural show, inviting the public to participate and interact. Currently, the SOILED editorial team includes writers, editors, architects, and designers, all eager to exploit multiple modes of mediation to tell compelling architectural stories.
SOILED is calibrated filth. What does this mean? The stories we tell about architecture are messy. They resist conventional categorization, they eschew the high-brow, and they tend to instigate mischief! It means a close and serious—but not too serious—examination of the mundane spaces we inhabit or traverse on a daily basis; a license to boldly, creatively, and irreverently challenge conventional architectural interventions and interpretations.
Why would non-architects be interested in an architectural publication? Just as non-chefs are interested in food (we’re all eaters!), those of us who are non-architects might challenge ourselves to engage in the curious, elegant, and bizarre politics of the dozens, hundreds, or thousands of built structures and spaces that we encounter—often uncritically—on a daily basis.
Why should you give us your money, and what else can you do?
In addition to the bevy of delightful rewards offered in the right-hand column of this page, and the personal satisfaction we anticipate you will feel by supporting the creative, intellectual pursuit of deeply engaging with our unique cultural-architectural conversation, you should know that you’ll be contributing to building a stronger foundation for a SOILED future. We see Issue No. 4 as a test ground for building a more filthy and fertile publication. We’re seeking additional funding outside of Kickstarter and refining our sustainability model so that the next project will be even stronger.
If you want to get even deeper into the SOILED conversation and help us spread the word, or contribute to our work through an in-kind service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Risks and challenges
Rather than our current model of print-on-demand or lower-resolution PDF download, we seek to do a print run of 1,000 issues through this campaign. Working with a local print house will allow us more freedom to bring our vision to life, to sell SOILED at lower costs, and to distribute issues through independent bookstores, cultural institutions, and communal spaces across Chicago, the US, and beyond. At the same time, working with a new print house will come with the additional challenge of creating a new workflow.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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