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Institute of Use

Institute of Use’s (IOU) response to the Phytology project focuses on the history of the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve. Throughout their 2014 residency IOU explored the site’s ecology, and the reserves inherent value as an area of undeveloped urban land.


A. Soil

Working with Dr Mark Hodson (Professor of Environmental Science University of York) IOU’s first on site project established the suitability of the soil for growing the harvestable Phytology Field.

B. Adopt a Plant / Cultivate a Weed

The common definition of a weed is ‘A plant in the wrong place’. The dictionary definition of a weed is ‘a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants’[1]. IOU will be working closely with the gardening team on the Adopt a Plant project to explore our different human relationships to weeds.

[1] Oxford Online Dictionary.

C. First Impressions

To better understand the value of the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve both its wild ecology, and the open space it provides in a tightly packed cityscape. IOU will be inviting members of the public and expects from a variety of disciplines to share their ‘First Impressions’ of the site. To contribute your own first impression or find out more information please contact: studio@instituteofuse.org

©2024 Bethnal Green Nature Reserve Trust