Plots | Tilling

Abigail Doan | Studio
2 min readMar 27, 2023
childhood farmland plot | photo: Abigail Doan studio

This project has been a long time in the making, row after row after row.

A someone who grew up on a farm, worked on a farm, moved away from a farm, and then witnessed a farm become dismantled, the plots that remain are salvaged parcels to preserve and gradually rework into exposed ground.

As an action item, what is plowing/tilling, actually?

[ Technically, plowing is a type of tilling. However, it usually connotes a more specific kind of ‘tilling’. Plowing is the more intense version of tilling. Instead of scraping the topsoil for a casual sift through, plowing is the forceful overturning and mashing of the soil to reveal the soil underneath the topsoil. (source) ]

So essential, the existence of the “soil underneath the topsoil”. The fixed earth that hopefully remains in place regardless of erosion, shifting weather conditions, or unwelcome disruptions. There are many historical references that I have researched for this project: archived imagery from the American dustbowl, documentation/photographs created for the Farm Security Administration, illustrations of indigenous grasses, and more.

Ultimately, it is the resilience that I am interested in examining. The ways that we might continue to interface with the land, the unprecedented conditions, the cyclical challenges, what we opt to save, what we allow to simply go fallow — personally and collectively experienced.



Abigail Doan | Studio

projects exploring the intersections of site-specific landscape phenomena, art lab/design methodologies, nature-based solutions, and cloth/textiles as metaphor