Installation and interactive map created for the Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show (June 2015)
By germinating seeds, we germinate ideas about alternatives to destructive industrial farming methods. A collection of seeds, seedlings and maps encapsulate cultures of food through history. This installation reflects the preliminary phases of the City Croft community garden project at the Edinburgh College of Art, a collaborative project that connects food origins with creative practice. Viewers are invited to engage with the project by participating in a collective act of seed germination.
The installation also included a Germination Station, where new members can join the City Croft project by taking home a seed packet and documenting the progress of their seeds. Locations of the seeds distributed at the ECA Degree Show and at prior Germination Station pop-ups can be viewed on the map below.
City Croft is a project developed by Edinburgh College of Art Masters students to develop a disused plot of land in the Edinburgh College of Art courtyard into a sustainable growing space. City Croft aims to engage people with nature and food origins by combining community gardening with artistic practices through workshops, skills sharing and digital outreach.
Through this articulation of spheres of food production, ranging from local to global, new ideas of how to maintain cultural resilience and food sustainability are germinated. This germination is part one of the City Croft garden project at the Edinburgh College of Art.
In this phase of the project, we are starting the conversation about the possibilities of urban growing, questioning how Edinburgh’s food system has changed through history and asking if we can revert to a more localised model that empowers communities. The installation also is an experiment in vertical seed germination, as the window in the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation Cafe becomes a germination station, utilising the natural light to feed tiny seeds with the nutrients that they need to grow and flourish. Alongside germinating seeds, we germinate ideas about the future of food within urban spaces.
We asked participants to contribute to the City Croft project by helping us germinate seeds for the garden, taking photos of progress and emailing these to firstname.lastname@example.org, or posting to Twitter @citycroft. After starting the seeds indoors, we will organise a day to transplant the seedlings into the City Croft plot, or you can help us in widening the reach of the City Croft community by continuing to grow seedlings in your own growing space! The City Croft hub will be a communally operated garden, with harvests available to all who contribute their time or resources to the project.
Formed by Edinburgh College of Art Masters students, the City Croft project aims to develop a disused plot of land in the Edinburgh College of Art courtyard into a sustainable growing space. City Croft aims to engage people with nature and food origins by combining community gardening with artistic practices.
Our activities connect individuals across the city through collaborative seed germination, bring together the community within the Edinburgh College of Art through growing and nurturing and celebrate sustainable food futures.
The Dinner Lab brings together notions of art, science, cultural geography, community and activism to explore the culture of contemporary food and drink consumption. Through the facilitation of workshops and co-creative processes, the curation of exhibitions to incite change, as well as art installations and pop-up dining events, The Dinner Lab aims to incite conversation and provoke thinking towards unconventional solutions to ecologically-damaging everyday behaviours.
With 66% of the world’s population expected to be living in urban areas by 2050, now is the time to ask- how will we sustain these populations within the competing uses of city space? Have city dwellers lost all sense of connection with the rural, and in doing so, alienated themselves from the production of the very sustenance that keeps them alive?