Alexandra Crosby and Ilaria Vanni, from the research studio Mapping Edges, created The Planty Atlas of UTS during their residency. The socially engaged creative project consisted of a live plant installation alongside a multidisciplinary bookshelf on selected plants, a seed balls workshop and three mapping walks around the UTS precinct. The Planty Atlas of UTS asks: how does our understanding of cultural, environmental, and social histories and futures of place change if we let ourselves be guided by plants?
In preparation for the Library’s move to UTS Central in November 2019, our residents grew plants onsite, to then green our new spaces of the Library. The plants from the installation now live happily in study spaces throughout UTS Central.
The mapping walks aimed to create new, plant inspired pathways around the precinct and produce mapping counterpoints that yield different and relational understandings of everyday places around the library buildings. The recorded map route along with the project findings were published in The Planty Atlas of UTS, a limited edition risograph printed map, which can be digitally accessed through OPUS - UTS's institutional repository. The special edition of The Planty Atlas of UTS can be viewed in the Library’s Special Collections.
Walk 1: Observation, involved different forms of sensing and note taking such as writing, photographs, drawings, and maps generated through commonly used apps. This first walk helped understand the landscape and its micro ecosystems.
Walk 2: Interaction, reconfigured the circulation of seeds made in the seed ball workshop and during the walk participants ‘seed bomb’ the edges of streets and green spaces on campus.
Walk 3: Accept feedback, retraced the steps of previous walks to document (through photography, notetaking and drawing) the evolution, or disappearance, success or failure of the seeds scattered in walk two.
Mapping Edges is an ongoing project, to join the conversation use #mappingedges and post your maps and photos of green encounters in the precinct.