This is a note about disorder, mess, dirt, chaos, decay, erosion, dissolution, overgrowth and other related phenomena that humans typically disapprove of and struggle against with symmetry, composition, hygiene, etc.

It is a topic in Ethics, Aesthetics, management and Design. It also relates to infection, hygiene and disease.

The Journal of Architecture: Vol 12, No 4 - Special issues on Architecutre and Dirt

Cohen, William A., and Ryan Johnson, eds. Filth: Dirt, Disgust, and Modern Life. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.

Steele, Wendy, Aidan Davison, and Aviva Reed. “Imagining the Dirty Green City.” Australian Geographer 51, no. 2 (2020): 239–56. https://doi.org/10/gg8wsk.

Curtis, Valerie A. “Dirt, Disgust and Disease: A Natural History of Hygiene.” Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 61, no. 8 (2007): 660–64. https://doi.org/10/b82gxh.

Lagerspetz, Olli. A Philosophy of Dirt. London: Reaktion Books, 2018.

Logan, William Bryant. Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007.

Montgomery, David R. Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

Campkin, Ben, and Rosie Cox, eds. Dirt: New Geographies of Cleanliness and Contamination. London: I.B. Tauris, 2007.

Cox, Rosie, and Nadine Monem, eds. Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life. London: Profile Books, 2011.


Overgrown gardens without weeding, subtracting interventions rather than controlling.

Fukuoka, Masanobu. The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming. 1978. Reprint, New York: New York Review Books, 2009.

This is 'less is more' but in a very different way. Not less material but more control but less control and more acceptance, in processes, geometries, outcomes of any kind.

Relevant to the discussion of urban trees, dignity, etc. Tree Dignity