TERRA FORMA workshop
Sampling, mapping and recomposing the Earth
With Alexandra Arènes and Axelle Grégoire

If some of the phenomena we are witnessing (soil erosion, depletion of resources, acceleration of urban space-time, intensification of polluted areas) escape us because of their scale, their duration, their extent, it is through the development of our techniques of representation, images and counter narratives, that we can hope to understand them better. The Terra Forma workshop proposes an alternative cartographic framework for experimentation in order to better understand the “deep city” and its relationship with its soil, the critical zone extending from the rocks below to the atmosphere above. The methodology will be developed in three stages.

Sampling: by using Terra Forma’s drawing manual, the aim of the workshop is to explore techniques of representation on different terrains.

Mapping: by redefining or rather expanding the traditional cartographic vocabulary, the workshop aims to develop a new geographical and political imaginary.

Recomposing: by progressively and collectively constituting an atlas of a new kind, the workshop will initiate a reflection on the definition and representation of a virtual common ground.


Terra Forma is the result of a collaboration between two architects whose practice is at the crossroads of landscape design and territorial strategy issues, Alexandra Arènes and Axelle Grégoire, and a science historian, Frédérique Aït-Touati.


Terra Forma, Manuel de Cartographies Potentielles, Alexandra Arènes, Frédérique Aït-Touati, Axelle Grégoire. Edition B42, 2019.