HUMUS sapiens

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What's new?

Download our short guides
We want to help people grow high-quality food and, at the same time, improve the fertility of the soil. For this reason, we publish short guidebooks under an open license.

Find them here:

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Who is HUMUS sapiens?

«HUMUS sapiens» represents a compilation of soil explorations emerging from the networks of

We bring DIY (do it yourself) and DIWO (do it with others) approaches as well as an open source based ‘hacker spirit’ into soil ecology. We invite you to reflect on current scientific discourses and critical societal challenges through hands-on tinkering and curiosity driven research.

We are building a network of soil enthusiasts for long-term collaborative research and invite YOU to join us. Read more on mikroBIOMIK

Watch our Video from our first wemakeit campaign

Soil retreats

RandeLab Soil Retreat, Mai 2018

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mikroBIOMIK Soil Retreat, July 2018

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Container City Soil retreat, September 2018


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HUMUS sapiens retreat 2019, Oktober 2019

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HUMUS sapiens on tour

more information:

Kilpisjärvi 18.-20. September 2018

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Notes from our explorations in Kilpisjärvi are on HUMUS.Sapiens-Field_Notes

Lucerne, 22.-25. September 2018

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When: 21. - 23. September 2018


  • FabLab Lucerne
  • Naherholunsgebiet Allmend [1]
  • Gaudi's Schrebergarten [2]


Lab Inauguration (Saturday, 22. September 2018)

Micro-Plastic Session (Sunday, 23. September 2018)

  • Building Centrifuges
  • Extracting Micro-plastic
  • Excursion, Sampling soil
  • Microscopy and Extraction

Humusapiens im GaudiLabs (Monday, 24. September 2018)

Zurich, 03. October 2018


03.10.2018, 8pm.

Artspace Kulturfolger [3]
Idastrasse 46, 8003 Zurich
Open each Wednesday afternoon. Detailed schedule under EVENTS [4]

Final talk and presentation at Kulturfolger as Part of the exhibition "Luxuriouse Molecule - Forschung als Luxus"
In cooperation with ZHdK Students and Molecular System Engeneering NCCR-MSE.
Curatorial Team: Lisa Lee Benjamin, Marcel Schock, Petra Tomljanovic


Berlin, 01.-07. October 2018

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Mini-residency: 01.-07. October 2018
Workshop: SUN 07.10.2018, 17:00

HUMUS (sapiens)

SUN 07.10.2018, 17:00 @ TOP project space, Schillerpromenade 4, 12049 Berlin (

Hosted by TOP, the mini residence by Julian Chollet ends up with a workshop on soil: together with Mindaugas Gapsevicius and Juan Pablo Diaz, we invite you to explore the organic matter of the soil and processes including composting, and digesting. What is humus? What are excrements? What is the role of microbes in soil formation? Participants are invited to reflect on current scientific discourses and critical societal challenges through hands-on tinkering and curiosity-driven research.

Tel Aviv February 2019

new connections to some great people
giving a talk @TAMI

Paris 07.-10. March 2019

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Vilnius 02.- 06. May 2019

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Soča (Slovenija) August 2019

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Talk at the Chaos Communication Congress

Maya, Malte and Julian had the great honor of giving a lecture at the annual hacker conference. Afterwards the discussions continued in the tea tent.

Soča (Slovenija) August 2020

This year with fewer participants but at least as much action: Herbalism with Dario & Darja, soil scanning and microscopy with Julian, hiking, music, etc. Many thanks to all the wonderful people there!! :)

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Workshop in Bohinjska Bistrica

Directly after PIFcamp, Julian gave a HUMUS sapiens workshop in Bohinjska Bistrica: a lively and family friendly afternoon with lot’s of time outside. We were digging holes and found hundreds of tiny creatures. One participant had to take a rest from all the exitement. ;)

Many thanks for the invitation to Urška from KAMRA Art Projekt Bohinj as well as Tina & Uroš from Projekt Atol.

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Workshop at CŠOD Trilobit (July 2021)

Topic "Electricity from mud: build your own microbial fuel cell" - held within the framework of the konS platform – “Network of Investigative Art and Culture Centres”.

Many thanks to Tina & Uroš from Projekt Atol as well as konS.

Remote workshop on microbial fuel cells (Januar 2022)

A workshop on microbial fuel cells - from a distance and yet somehow in the middle of Mz*Baltazar's lab.

Many thanks to Stefanie.

Soil workshop in Maribor (March 2023)

Julian gave a workshop on soil organisms for children at the GT22 educational laboratory in Maribor, Slovenia. We used different types of professional and homemade microscopes to observe all the little creatures crawling, creeping and swimming through soil, compost and leaves.

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Additional workshops

BUND Naturschutz- und Jugendzentrum Wartaweil


As part of the Children Climate Camp 2018, we were invited to do a workshop series on soil microbes at the BUND Naturschutz- und Jugendzentrum Wartaweil. Several groups of children between the ages of 8 and 12 collected samples, rummaged through compost, and observed the wild mini-creatures at work. A day full of muddy hands, astonished faces and fascinating insights into the world of invisible life.

Benediktbeuern, 16. October 2018


Referent: Julian Chollet
Exkursion 3: Open Soil research – Einblicke durchs Mikroskop
Datum: 16. Oktober 13:30 – 15:00 Uhr

Wer wohnt in unserem Kompost? Was essen Regenwürmer? Wie entsteht Humus? Bei diesem Workshop geht es um spielerisches Lernen, matschige Hände und staunende Gesichter. Entdecke eine verborgene Welt im Kleinen: geh hinaus, sammle Proben und beobachte die kleinen Lebewesen wie sie organischen Abfall in fruchtbare Erde verwandeln.

Who lives in our compost? What do earthworms eat? How is humus produced? This workshop is about playful learning, muddy hands and the exploration of a miniature universe. Discover a hidden world on a small scale: go out, collect samples and observe the little creatures as they turn organic waste into fertile soil.

You can also bring your own sample.


Interactive exhibition "SCOBI, Shit and Humus" @ACUD Berlin

As part of the Transmedial "Vorspiel" (Prelude) at ACUD Berlin we had an interactive exhibition on the theme "SCOBI, Shit and Humus" - in cooperation with Mindaugas Gapsevicius and Juan Pablo Diaz. Among other things, the participants had the opportunity to analyze their own soil or compost samples under a microscope. With more than 500 visitors and very positive feedback, we consider the event a great success.

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HUMUS sapiens @Biotopia EAT festival (Mai 2019)

together with the Extreme Biopolitical Bistro: Markéta Dolejšová, Denisa Kera, Zohar Messeca-Fara und Yair Reshef

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mikroBIOMIK @Ex-Teppich Erlangen (Juli 2019)

Many thanks to Jochen Hunger, Malte Larsen and Alessandro Volpato.

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Ars Electronica (September 2019)

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Meeting at Randelab and Walcheturm, Zurich (July 2020)

HLabX Reflections Zurich

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Workshop at the BiotopiaLab, Munich (October 2020)

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Explorations with fungal bioreactors (2023)

A series of workshops was developed and organized - manly by Malte and Leo.

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Video: how to build a fungal bioreactor (2023)