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. 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.

Sound walk launches on 4th September on the Serpentine podcast feed.

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


About Metabolic Selves

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

Moss Matters has materialized 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, Greg Hitchcock, Jacob Norris, Dr. Neil Bell, the British Bryological Society, Ayanna Blair-Ford, Kate Frew, Gemma Yates-Round, Hafsa Adan, Alon Schwabe, Daniel Fernández Pascual and Lucia Pietroiusti.

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