Moss Matters marks the second instalment of Metabolic Selves, an initiative devised by students of the Royal College of Art’s School of Architecture studio ADS3: Refuse Trespassing Our Bodies, on the occasion of Back to Earth. Its current campaign explores the urban ecology of London’s moss species, revealing what these resilient organisms can teach us about the life of the city.

Moss Matters takes the form of a public audio walk that invites participants to discover London’s mosses along the length of Regent’s Canal. Starting at Camden Lock Market, amongst the ruins of the city’s industrial past, this narrated journey makes use of moss as a witness to recount the chemical, biological and socionatural interactions that take place between the metropolis and its non-human inhabitants. Moss Matters teaches us how to read moss and see the city from the perspective of its most overlooked plants.

Metabolic Selves has been a two-year-long collaboration between the RCA School of Architecture’s ADS3 studio (led by course tutors Cooking Sections), and the General Ecology project at the Serpentine Galleries, for Back to Earth. Enduring beyond the length of the academic year, Metabolic Selves continues to exist as a collaborative platform and initiative.

For more information on moss and how to get involved in other moss related activities, please visit the British Bryological Society.


About Metabolic Selves

In 2020-2021, Metabolic Selves are Leen Ajlan, Anyu Chan, Cristina de Loya, Nien-Hsun Huang, Daniel Innes, Sooyeon Jeong, Nadia Lesniarek-Hamid, Wilza Silva Mendes, Henna Patel, Andrew Reynolds, Michelle Sin and Henry Valori. ADS3: Refuse Trespassing Our Bodies was led in 2020-21 by Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe.

Moss Matters has materialised through research, conversation, and a continual exchange between biologists, bryologists, musicians, writers, actors, and institutions. We would like to extend our gratitude to Dr. Silvia Pressel, Dr. Jeffery Duckett, Dr. Neil Bell, Greg Hitchcock, the Natural History Museum, the British Bryological Society, Alon Schwabe, Daniel Fernández Pascual and Lucia Pietroiusti for their advice throughout the project. A special thanks to Jacob Norris for writing, recording, and editing the musical soundscape, and to Ayanna Blair-Ford for performing the reading.

Click here to find out more about the 2019-2020 Metabolic Selves project.

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