During my internship with Dallas, I helped the collective with their research on asphalt recycling. They wanted to continue what they had started with their intervention in Poelaert, Brussels in 2021. There, they drilled holes in the asphalt, allowing nature to reclaim its rights - plants to grow, insects to thrive and water to infiltrate - and using excavated materials for public furniture.

I was in charge of conducting material research for them and designing the scenography for their exhibition about asphalt and city plants. Over the course of three months, I initiated collaborations with asphalt manufacturers and came up with new transformations of the material that could be directly used as displays for the exhibition.

In 2024, the project came back to life as we joined forces with the Gilbard collective, based in Anderlecht. They had identified a parking lot in front of a building that was going to be rehabilitated to host a wood workshop, a wild plant processing workshop, a bakery and a brewery, in the same street as their premises. We called the project “casse-dalle” and are organising a series of open workshops for the neighbours to learn about this technique and participate in the creation of a new public space.

My role is to assist both collectives with a special focus on planting and recreating a living ground that would host a new biodiversity. In the summer, we are planning to fill the holes with soil donated by the commune and the local compost, and observe what will have grown spontaneously after the summer to learn about the soil composition. The plantation will happen from September, in collaboration with the artisans in the building (bakery, brewery, dyeing workshop, fungal lab) and the people from the area.

© Cinzia Romanin / Dallas